Rattlesnake Game Competition

Games of imagination, knowledge and wisdom, where a single theme is viewed through multiple lenses.

4 min readSep 15, 2022

Introducing the 2022 Rattlesnake Game competition rules and prizes, the Variations card decks, links to examples of games, and downloadable print-and-play versions.


Entries should be in the ‘Rattlesnake Game’ style, exploring a single theme over at least three contexts.

The theme should be clearly stated at the beginning, and its connection to each context should be clearly explained.

The whole game, including any commentary, can be as short as you like, but in any case should be no more than 500 words, and should be in English.

Other than these main requirements, pretty much anything goes.

Games can be played ‘solitaire’ or multi-player, either spontaneously in minutes or deeply thought out and researched over weeks and months. Contexts may be picked at random, or carefully chosen. The game can be edited to make it the best version of itself — though flaws, unevenness and missteps have their own appeal too, giving an impression of authenticity and spontaneity.


Games don’t have to use the contexts in the Variations card decks (see below), but ideally the contexts used should involve different domains of knowledge and different types of intelligence — knowledge, spiritual, physical, emotional and social — as featured in the Variations card decks.

Extra credit will be given for:
– clarity of links between the theme and each of the contexts
– diversity of contexts used
– humour and originality

Good examples of games can be found here:
– A Rattlesnake game on the theme of an Apple (https://bit.ly/3BJNnCt)
– A Rattlesnake game on the theme of Gold (https://bit.ly/3PQoVTz)
– Preparing to play a game of Variations on the theme of Pulleys (https://bit.ly/3Rc3KMS)
– Fourteen Short Glass Bead Games by JustKnecht, available from the Abime Publications stand (5K130) at Spiel Essen 2022

Other examples (both good and bad — judge for yourself) can be found at @RatataLucchese (https://twitter.com/RatataLucchese).


All entrants will be eligible to be considered for the first prize:
– €500 cash for the winning game
– A beautiful certificate awarding the player(s) the coveted title of Magister/Magistra Ludi Crotali (Rattlesnake Game Master/Mistress)
– The chance to add a theme card to the Glass Bead Game version of the Variations deck due to be published in 2023

All entrants will be eligible to be considered for the second prize of €250 cash for the runner-up game.

A special prize of €250 in cash is reserved for persons and groups of age 18 or under who are in full time education. Entrants wishing to be considered in this category should submit entries through a parent, guardian or teacher, and should not correspond directly with the competition organisers.


The Variations card decks gather certain themes and contexts which can be used as a basis for playing Rattlesnake Games.

The Fluxus Variations card deck, with themes inspired by the experimental Fluxus arts movement, can be bought from Buchhandlung Walther König (branches at https://bit.ly/3QXqNLQ).

Other Variations decks with different theme cards but the same context cards are available in print-and-play versions:
– Alethiometer Variations with theme cards inspired by Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy (https://bit.ly/3cnq1su)
– Chuang Tzu’s Art of War (available on request by email to JustKnecht@gmail.com)
– Leonardo da Vinci Variations (available on request by email to JustKnecht@gmail.com)


Entries can be either submitted on Twitter by tagging @RatataLucchese and hashtagging #Rattlesnake in the thread, and/or by email to JustKnecht@gmail.com. If you enter by email, let us know if we may repost your game on @RatataLucchese and, if so, how you wish to be identified.

Closing date for entries is 31 December 2022, midnight CET.

Competition winners will be publicly announced on Twitter on 31 January 2023, and contacted for any additional details required to confirm identities and settle the prizes.


No emails or personal details will be passed to third parties for any purpose. If you submit by email, please include the following in your submission: “I consent to receiving emails relevant to the competition, and updates on related products, including the Glass Bead Game version of the Variations deck, due for publication in 2023.”

Competition entries, along with all email and other personal details, can be withdrawn from the competition at any time by notifying JustKnecht@gmail.com.