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[Table of Contents]

The Game

The main pastime of Proton from Piers Anthony novel Split Infinity is The Game. When two persons want to play a round, they proceed to a Game console. There, one player chooses one of four categories: 1. PHYSICAL, 2. MENTAL, 3. CHANCE, or 4. ARTS. The other player chooses among A. NAKED, B. TOOL, C. MACHINE, or D. ANIMAL. (In this context, naked does not necessarily mean unclothed but rather unassisted by external tools.) Once the grid is completed, players continue on subgrids until they select a particular game to play. For instance, in the books, Stile plays a Naked/Arts round in interpretive dance, while later on the same category produces extemporaneous poetry. Chance/Tool covers board and card games, among others. Most sports are under Physical, but so is Tiddlywinks. Due to the wide variety of contests available, any given round could take any one of thousands of forms.

The Tourney

Tourneys are a series of games played by the serfs to earn Citizenship. A serf that loses their sponsorship by a Citizen will be expelled from Proton. Then the only way to stay is to win games at the Tourney to extend your stay.


Every year, the top-ranked players are entered into a Tourney. The final winner of the Tourney is immediately made a Citizen and given a small percentage of the annual Protonite production equal to about one kilogram at the moment of Citizenship.

A new Citizen escapes Proton by way of Mach's boat.


Other Tourney participants who last until the final rounds are rewarded by being allowed to stay a serf on Proton for an additional term of years.
Citizen Blue, your sponsor, has disappeared. His sponsorship of you as a serf will end unless you join the Tourney to become a Citizen. You must find a way to enter the dome and join the Tourney, or the Citizens will banish you from Proton.

In choosing categories for the Game and then particular contests once the main category is selected, the intelligent player uses his knowledge of his opponent, trying to play to the opponent's weaknesses and his own strengths. Of course, his ability to do so is limited because half the grid is in the opponent's hands.

Every year, the top-ranked players are entered into a Tourney. The final winner of the Tourney is immediately made a Citizen and given a small percentage of the annual Protonite production equal to about one kilogram at the moment of Citizenship. (Assuming, of course, that the winner is not a Citizen already.) Other Tourney participants who last until the final rounds are rewarded by being allowed to stay a serf on Proton for an additional term of years.

Not only do Citizens participate in the Game, they also wager vast sums amongst themselves in any conceivable fashion. However, should a Citizen lose so many wagers that he is unable to pay his debts with his proceeds from the Protonite mines, he is prevented from wagering further until once again solvent.

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