Anyone who tells you Twitter is social media’s closest approximation to Hell on Earth is utterly, unimpeachably correct. This is, after all, the company that decided to deal with its role in a rising tide of digital fascism by verifying a white supremacist, and doubling the amount of space anyone can use to shout racial epithets at strangers.
Arguments that 280 characters are an unnecessary novelty are overwhelmingly valid. But there is a small, pure sliver of good in it: Now there’s enough tweetspace to play a board game:
People are literally playing Connect Four on my timeline now.
280 characters was a mistake. pic.twitter.com/unO16YgPlm
— Jdawg @ ???????????? (@Jdawg926) November 8, 2017
Connect Four appears to be among the first board games to make a debut on Nü Twitter, and while unfortunately this Connect Four match was a draw, it also opens up the possibility for Checkers, using the same characters. Better yet, Unicode supports small graphical representations of chess pieces in both colours.
see me in a REAL twitter game
— TTT Ryan Ken (@RyanKenGG) November 9, 2017
8 ♜ ♞ ♝ ♛ ♚ ♝ ♞ ♜
7 ♟ ♟ ♟ ♟ ♟ ♟ ♟ ♟
2 ♙ ♙ ♙ ♙ ♙ ♙ ♙ ♙
1 ♖ ♘ ♗ ♕ ♔ ♗ ♘ ♖
ａ ｂｃ ｄｅｆ ｇ ｈ
— Visa-Valtteri Pimiä (@notyourusualcup) November 9, 2017
Others have tried using Twitter as a chess-by-mail alternative, but when it comes to organising the board, I personally found the “white shogi piece” unicode symbol: ☖, worked best for representing blank spaces. While there are plenty of “white box”-type characters, none seemed to be the same width as the chess pieces.
if we actually finish this game i will be astounded
— Jack Crosbie (@jscros) November 9, 2017
Not long after that tweet, my friend Jack replied (e7-e6) and we’ve played about eight moves each so far. Neither of us are particularly avid or skilled chess players, but it’s been one of the few positive interactions I can recall having on Twitter recently. Feel free to copy that board and start your own game if you need a break from the deluge of micro-pundits, bad news and angry jerks.
So far, nobody’s had luck creating a Go board. If you have other games you think could work in a 280-character tweet, let us know below.