Panopticon – The Game, 2014


Panopticon is comprised of a ring of cells surrounding a central guard tower. The prisoners in the cells are perpetually exposed to the gaze of the guards in the tower, yet since they cannot themselves see into the tower, they are never certain whether or not they are being watched.


What it is


Panopticon – The Game  is a mind game which is played by at least two players; one watchman and one or more prisoners.

The objective for the watchman is to guess what prisoners have in mind while the prisoners need to formulate a complicated thought so that it is hard for the watchman to guess.


Panopticon – The Game consists of a ring of 24 cells surrounding a central watch tower just like the picture below.

The prisoner that manages to complete a full circle without being caught (i.e. the watchman makes a correct guess on prisoner’s thought), becomes the watchman.


How it is played


  1. At the beginning of the game, every prisoner has to randomly take two words from a given word list.

  2. Then, the prisoner throws the dice and steps according to it. If for example he moves to cell four, he is provided with one more word as every cell corresponds to a word. 

  3. Possessing three words now the prisoner has to form an articulated sentence using these words. If the watchman guesses the order of the words, then the prisoner is getting out of the game. If not, the prisoner stays in the game.

  4. During the next round, the prisoner will get one more word-card; Now, has to leave the previous sentence as it is and place the new word in between the previous words. If the watchman guesses the right order, then the prisoner loses. If not, the prisoner continues being in the game. And so on…

  5. The first prisoner who achieves to make a full circle becomes the watchman.