Again, the staff here can’t be accused of non cogitatio ex arcae. A great over-analyzation is a great over-analyzation, no matter what the subject matter or prevailing zeitgeist. So, when we boinged across this really fine ars ludorum analyzation of the sexagenarian board game Candy Land, we were compelled to share:
To begin with, let us view Candy Land as a mathematical entity. It is very nearly a Markov chain, a stochastic process in which, given the current state, future states are independent of past states. (It would be a pure Markov chain if the deck were shuffled after each play; instead, it is a crippled Markov chain coupled to a push-pop stack.) As such, it is a metaphorical representation of the fundamental ideology of the United States; the past is no constraint on the future, and each individual should strive resolutely for personal advance despite whatever the past may hold. The child born in a log cabin may achieve the presidency, an immigrant boy who grows up in the slums of Brooklyn may become a real-estate magnate, an Ivy-educated scion of wealth may wind up on a bread line, and a double green will speed you to the fore. Though there are winners and losers, initial conditions are no determinant of outcome in the freedom of America. The subtext, of course, may be that success and failure is entirely random and has nothing to do with individual initiative and hard work, a concept alien to the Platonic ideal of the American dream, but perhaps a more accurate representation of reality than the Horatio Alger myth.
Any analyzation which uses the term “stochastic” gets 2 bonus points. The analyzation itself gets even better, but you’ll have to click on the link to read the rest:
Play This Thing!: Candy Land > Catena Ex Situ