making noise since 1977

Tic-Tac-Toe "War Games" Screensaver

« | Thu February 12, 2004 | comments and reactions | permanent link | »

This post is more than two years old. It might be still-relevant and maybe even awesome, but it's probably outdated (and likely embarassing!) Proceed with care.

Recently, we happened upon an interesting post on Mark's excellent site with a picture of him sitting in front of a computer, which is presumably running some sort of WOPR-esque, global-thermonuclear-war-analyzing, "the only winning move is not to play" simulation. If you've never seen the movie War Games, then none of this is going to make any sense, or be of much value to you.

We liked this idea of running something nostalgic of the movie, perhaps as a screensaver. It wouldn't actually have to do anything, it just had to look cool. After searching and not finding anything like this out there, we put out a call on a message board (FP Discuss).

To the rescue came Joshua Sera, who apparently stayed up all night working on a Flash-based screensaver that not only looks like it's playing itself in a rousing game of tic-tac-toe, but thanks to some simple AI programming, it actually does play itself!

Download: wargames_screensaver.zip (1.8 MB)

The zip archive contains installers for both a standard and a "DLUX" version, which changes colors and displays scrolling text of what the computer is "thinking". Josh was even nice enough to include the source code, licensed under the GNU GPL.

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