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The Gostak

by Carl Muckenhoupt profile

Wordplay
2001

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Number of Reviews: 9
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Language, meet Logic, December 2, 2019
by Rovarsson (Belgium)
It is very tempting to try to translate The Gostak. I've found different versions of the, no, more accurately I should say a story on the internet. I too have created a story based on my understanding of what things and what actions the strange words in this game refer to.
But as Chase Entwistle put it so well in his review: "Distimming the doshes could be the most evil thing imaginable."

I really started appreciating this game once I let go of the assumption that the "words" had to have external referents, and instead viewed them as symbols in a logic system that could be manipulated through their interactions with other such symbols.

This brings this game very close to mathematics or symbolic logic. "Distim", "Gostak", and "Dosh", like any other "word" in this game are defined solely by their relations with other "words". Putting "words" next to other "words" makes them act in a certain way, and gives output from which the player can infer what role they have in a logical system.

But yes, of course I have my own version of the story. And my, how my doshes are distimmed by that gostak!