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CURRICULUM VITAE: Coordination

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COORDINATION
(Trivia)

Eight, ten, or twelve players are split into two groups: Xs and Ys. In each round players must identify a particular location within a graphic image. Members of the X group guess the location along the horizontal axis while members of the Y group guess along the vertical axis. Players divide into pairs of one X and one Y and share their guesses to form ordered pairs. The correct location is revealed and players score based on the distance from the guessed coordinate to the correct one (a low score, representing a short distance, is better than a high score). Player partnerships vary in subsequent rounds and the individual player who finishes the game with the lowest score wins.

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Coordination was inspired by my publishing job, which includes working with maps. The first edition of Coordination, with 12 rounds, was presented after-hours at the 2003 NPL convention in Indianapolis, with a sequel presented the following year in Boston. A ten-round version was presented on the main program of the 2007 Ann Arbor convention. The game was a popular favorite and generated discussions of game-play variations (alternate scoring methods or the use of polar coordinates instead of Cartesian coordinates) and prospects of amateur and commercial adaptations. A few NPLers incorporated elements of Coordination into other trivia games; aside from that, the game has slipped quietly into the archives after a short, successful run.

Titanic

This image was used in the first edition of the game. Players needed to identify where the R.M.S. Titanic collided with an iceberg and sunk. It’s an ideal question type because players not familiar with the specific longitude and latitude of the collision can still make reasonable estimates from basic historical and geographical knowledge.

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