I’m reading Sylvia Nasar’s A Beautiful Mind, the biography of the schizophrenic Nobel Prize winner John Nash, and I’ve just reached a point where, as a graduate student at Princeton, he invents a little game to illustrate game theory. This game, which captivates the math department, is called Nash in honor of the creator. It later was sold commercially under the name Hex. Hex is very similar to a game called Twixt that I remember playing as a kid. The idea is to build a chain from one side of the board to the other while simultaneously preventing your opponent from doing the same.
I went searching for it on the web and found several places where you can play it in the privacy and comfort of your own browser. Here’s a good one: MazeWorks – Hex
Incidentally, John Nash is still alive despite the fact that his best-selling biography was written years ago. Here is his home page at Princeton. He doesn’t appear to be much of an HTML hack, but you can find presentations he’s given in the last few months if you poke around. And Princeton is good enough to keep his 32 page Nobelworthy thesis available for ready download. Here it is. It’s a big PDF scan of the original, complete with typos and handwritten Greek letters. We don’t need no stinking TeX.