This game models the self-amending rule set that is the basis of the American legal system. Suber, a logician, was interested in the paradoxes that arise in a system where logical contradictions inside of a self-amending rule set cannot be straightforwardly resolved. The unequal distribution of the power to change the rule set, and the hierarchy within the rule set itself, deforms the very democratic structure which it purports to establish.
The creator of the game Nomic, Peter Suber, describes it this way:
Nomic is a game in which changing the rules is a move. In that respect it differs from almost every other game. The primary activity of Nomic is proposing changes in the rules, debating the wisdom of changing them in that way, voting on the changes, deciding what can and cannot be done afterwards, and doing it. Even this core of the game, of course, can be changed.
One is invited to listen to the rules; play if you will.
- Read the rules of the game Nomic.