Minesweeper World Records

October 17, 2006

Minesweeper is a game of extraordinary longevity. For most of us, it’s an old friend that we call up from time to time when we have a minute or so to kill between tasks. But for some, Minesweeper is an obsession, less an old friend than a needy co-dependent lover. The focus and determination of “serious” Minesweeper players is on exhibit at Planet Minesweeper, where you can view YouTube videos of world-record performances, such as Dion Tiu’s masterful 38-second solution of an expert-level minefield. Watching Tiu’s mouse pointer as it floats across the board revealing tiles is like observing a factory worker assembling a circuit board for the ten thousandth time — except, of course, in this case, nothing is really being made, either for Tiu or the factory. And it begs the question: is this kind of obsessive skillz-oriented game mastery the omega point of all gaming experiences, or is Minesweeper truly as outmoded a design as we would like to think it is?


5 Responses to “Minesweeper World Records”

  1. didactique Says:

    a small language point from your most didaKtic of readers to do with the ole “begging the question” problem. to cut and paste from a quick google search – who has time to write these things for themselves anyway?:

    Fowler [the usage god – I have my dad’s original copy] defines “begging the question” as the “fallacy of founding a conclusion on a basis that as much needs to be proved as the conclusion itself.” [so question-begging has specific use to characterize logical fallacy, argument structure that kind of thing. actually really technical term for it – and it was Durkheim’s besetting analytic sin – is petitio principii]


    Many people unaware of the technical meaning of “to beg the
    question” in logic use it in one of two looser senses. The first of
    these, “to evade the question, to duck the issue”, is attested since
    1860 (WDEU). The second, “to invite the obvious question, (with an
    inanimate subject) to raise the question”, is now the most commonly
    heard use of the phrase…


  2. Jeff Watson Says:

    Indeed, I appear to have misused the phrase. In my defense, I would suggest that the common usage has superceded the original definition, but this is a weak argument, for I would obviously never tolerate a more egregiously misused/misunderstood phrase such as the notorious “for all intensive purposes.” However, there is another problem with this phrasing, which is that it forces the reader into an assumption that may only be obvious to the author, and yet presents it as an self-evident truth. Such phrases are sometimes referred to as Weasel Words. On the grounds of these two charges, I humbly plead guilty. On the other hand, I would like to put forth the thesis that this “didactique” character has both too much time on his hands and is a fancy-pants know-it-all.

  3. joy Says:

    38 seconds at expert level. 38 seconds at expert level. The more I say it, the less I believe it.

  4. Thomas Kolar Says:

    I know its hard to believe, but it’s possible. I linked the youtube video as “Website”, have fun watching it 😉

  5. Thomas Kolar Says:

    Sorry for posting twice, but that post makes it look like I am capable of that too much. You can watch my exp record (a 47) by clicking on this one 😛

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