Cover by John Ferrara

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Chapter 1. Why We Should Care about Games

This puzzle is killing me. I’ve looked at the chain from 20 different angles, and I just can’t see the solution. I decide to take a stab in the dark and twist one of the blue pieces inward. It costs me 300 points. Crap. Then it hits me: if I bend the whole chain into thirds, all of the orange pieces will be on the inside, just where they’re supposed to be. That does the trick. I finish the puzzle and I’m off to the next level.

I’m playing Foldit on my home computer. Its look and feel is as familiar as that of any video game (that is, any game mediated by a computer), with its bloops and bleeps and multicolored flying sparkles. But the puzzle ...

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