How to Play:
Man moves by selecting 'Zero' or 'One.' Press '0' or '1' on your keyboard; If you have a 'numbers pad,' enable 'Num Lock.' Or click the buttons if you prefer. The goal is to confuse Machine by 'being random.'
Machine moves by guessing 'Zero' or 'One,' before learning Man's move. Machine can also pass, if he is uncertain. This is because he is weaker, he is only a Machine. So, to make things fair, he gets a little head start.
A correct prediction by Machine gives him a point; an incorrect guess gives a point to Man. A pass gives no points to anyone.
Man usually starts to lose to Machine in a serious way after a few dozen moves. Click 'Reset' or press 'Space' on your keyboard to zero the scores and begin a new game.
Who Invented This?
Of the heroes of times of yore / Often not even names endure.
It was probably John von Neumann. Or Stanislaw Ulam. The algorithm, originally in BASIC, came to me from my brother. Who, if I'm not mistaken, learned of it at a Soviet Maths Olympiad.
If anyone knows of the inventor, please write to me!
For the curious: source code. And here's the original.
It is not hard to win this game. If you spent a whole day playing it, shame on you. But what if you did not know that you are playing a game? I dug up this toy when I saw people talking about generating 'random' numbers for cryptography by mashing keys or shouting into microphones. It is meant to educate you regarding the folly of such methods.