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MIT student blogger Snively '11

The Deep Breath Before the Plunge by Snively '11

THIS IS . . . wait, this isn't Sparta. Wha-? Aw, shoot, I took a wrong turn.

Ever played Risk?
Ever played Diplomacy?
Ever played Urbandead?

Ever wished that somehow all of those games were combined into one?

A little less than a week ago everybody on campus was sent an e-mail like this:

Dear Undergraduates,

Have you ever wanted to make a difference? Have you ever wanted to show people that you have some power? Have you ever wanted your own armies, your own territory, your own sweet victory? The UA Committee on Student Life is proud to present to you a new initiative, something you have all been waiting for: a campus-wide game called Go Cross Campus (GXC) that will be launched on March 3rd, 2008.

GXC is a team-based social online sport that revolves around your connections, location and interests. GoCrossCampus can be a very simple game. Each day, you will receive new armies. You will need to place these armies on a territory your team owns. If you wish, you can then command your armies to attack, defend or move. While it only takes 2 minutes a day to do this, you can get as involved as you want. You could choose to be a commander of your team, you can organize dorm-wide strategy meetings, you can be the reason why your dorm will win this campus-wide challenge.

These are the teams that we have divided the campus into:

Burton Conner
East Campus
McCormick and Campus Fraternities
Senior House, Bexley, and Random Hall
New House
Boston/Cambridge East Fraternities and Sororities
Boston/Cambridge West Fraternities and Sororities, Off Campus Residents

The game will be launched on Monday, March 3rd, 2008 and all you have to do is go to and login to play on MIT’s campus tournament!

So have some fun, get closer to your dorm-mates and teammates, and win some cash prizes and awards!!! Conquer your campus, win the world :)


What an awesome idea! We’ve spent several days working through strategy and now we’re knee deep in politics, battle, conspiracy, treachery, valiant bravery, and death.

Since we’re now several turns into the game and I thought it would be appropriate to fill you guys in on what’s been happening. I’m not really at liberty to explain what Burton-Conner’s strategy is, but I’d welcome some discussion as to different tactics and approaches to take. Here are some screenshots that will help you.

We began with the map looking something like this:

I’m on the DARK BLUE team.

As of today, the map looks like this:

We are now plotting.

Please feel free to follow the game’s progress, it should last for many many days/weeks/months(?).

32 responses to “The Deep Breath Before the Plunge”

  1. Jess says:

    Just a note- uh, we didn’t actually come up with this game.

  2. Hawkins says:

    Risk pwns. I wonder if I will pick my dorm based on how well they’re doing in GXC…

  3. Snively says:

    Yeah guys, this wasn’t invented by MIT, we just play it. It’s mucho fun.

  4. ryan m says:

    and that is way freaking cool

  5. Anonymous says:

    The dark blue which has barely any territory(number 3, 10, and 1)?
    or the regular blue (17,34,15,73,57…)? i hope its the regular one.

  6. Anonymous says:

    which one are you?

  7. Timus says:

    The game sounds similar to Fracas.

    It was fun game for about a week, then I got bored. If I remember correctly, topology and alliances were the important parts of strategy

  8. Anonymous says:

    orange should win (if no alliances were permitted) as they had the best starting points

  9. Snively says:

    Sorry, not that dark blue. We’re the royal blue that’s dominating the east side.

  10. boredman says:


    Snively, thank you very much, for this is my favorite blog post EVER!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Dblue should form alliance with brown. Brown will help keep orange at bay so that Dblue can deal with light blue. Brown would then go for light blue on the bottom or orange’s flank on the left side since green is too strong on the top. Blue’s main problem is then orange if green doesnt attack orange on the flank and decides to go for brown. Since Dblue is massing on the right corner it should keep going on and take over that area. Going for the far left would create greater border area to protect, so expand from the corner vertically.

  12. Anonymous says:

    For some reason, I’m having trouble loading the page.

    This is depressing :(

  13. Nihar says:

    Hey Michael, this is soooo awesomee!!

    Just a quick question before I give any suggestions though – what decides which colour wins out if a building is attacked? Is it the size of the area attacking? Or is there a secret division of armies you’re not allowed to disclose?

  14. Karen says:

    This reminds me of Conqueror Club. I’m still rather biased towards Risk face-to-face, though – forming alliances loses its fun factor when you can’t see your friends reactions as you slowly take over all of their territories smile

  15. Jeseth says:

    WOW! HOW COOL! I absolutely love “the game of global domination” (risk)I introduced my friends to it, that is pretty much how we spend our weekends…although I must admit, Risk can ruin some friendships…hahaha…you see everyone’s true colors…

  16. Jeseth says:

    WOW! HOW COOL! I absolutely love “the game of global domination” (risk)I introduced my friends to it, that is pretty much how we spend our weekends…although I must admit, Risk can ruin some friendships…hahaha…you see everyone’s true colors…

  17. Kevin Xu says:

    Wow this is seriously way awesome Snively. Im just wondering:

    1) Who at MIT came up with this super-awesome idea for a campus version of Risk?

    2) Do they have any plans to market this and go all over the country with this awesome idea?

    For now the server seems down or something as I can’t access the game but I definitely want to check it out. And I’m also offering my help to get this launched across the country if the team needs any help. Once again, AWESOME post!

  18. Laura says:

    dumbest thing ever: McCormick and Campus Fraternities as a group? Who…what…gah!!!

  19. Anon Ymous says:

    That looks like some amazing fun.
    It totally does remind me of Fracas.

    MIT students just keep coming up with better and better ways to show how MIT life is, in a word, studly.

  20. I love Risk and also this awesome game of campus Risk or whatever you call it. I agree with the comment about bringing out true colors but I’d have to use angers instead.

    Once I had almost conquered Asia when only a few turns later I was almost wiped out. In a fit of rage I screamed “I HATE YOUR F***ING FACE!!!” Everyone got a good laugh afterwards but it was awkward for about an hour lol

  21. Shruthi says:

    Wow! smile That games sounds uber cool… So plotting Campus Domination are we? wink

  22. Jayne says:

    HAH. Once on Risk, my one-man army defeated my friend’s 16 troops.

    He was not happy.

  23. Aditi says:


    trust MIT to come up with something this incredible =)

    go (team) blue!

  24. Paul says:

    I’m also playing, as a member of the Simmons team (green). We’re now comfortably in control of north-central campus, and the 130 armies in the power plant (the most central territory) have now turned into 228 and are growing by the hour.

    Some fun stats: In terms of territory, Simmons is ranked fourth with 13 territories – behind Next with 16, MacGregor with 15, and New House with 14. In terms of armies, Simmons is ranked third with 474, significantly behind MacGregor (609!) but neck-and-neck with Next (484). Fourth and fifth are Burton-Conner and New House with 300 and 255 respectively. A total of 827 players are registered, about 20% of MIT’s student body…not bad at all!

    It’s shaping up to be a fun game. smile

  25. Oasis says:

    @ Kevin Xu:

    MIT didn’t develop this. Go Across Campus is founded by a group of primarily Yale students. If you go on Go Across Campus’ website, you’ll see that they ran a Ivy League risk game as well across the Ivy League schools, with Princeton dominating at the end. I think GAC is turning into something that you can ask them to do for your high school, college…etc.

    BTW, I’m light blue (New House). We hold a lot of territory right now, but hmm, I think if alliances break down, we’re in big trouble, because we’re having trouble recruiting and right now it’s more like everyone against McGregor (brown) – we’ll see what happens in the end. haha.

  26. Ana says:

    It sounds a lot of fun. I hope MIT will expand it so all interested may join.

  27. Laser says:

    I play on Conquer Club too from time to time. A great community if you like Risk.

    This game sounds much better though. Brown looks like a powerhouse; good luck Snively!

  28. Aiko says:

    Well, what you wanna do is keep your borders as small as possible while still having the largest possible territory. Then again, there’s no point in defending lost cause territories, e.g. Blue’s No. 11 unless there’s any chance to incorporate them ASAP e.g. No. 4. I wouldn’t waste my armies on No. 11 though, they’re dead meat.

    I would probably go ahead and try to take Brown’s 78, 20 and 6, Orange’s 5 and Light Blue’s 1. As I said before, small borders are easier to defend. That’s why I would also try to concentrate on rim territories instead of going central since they can be attacked from only one side. These are just some suggestions… Great blog though, keep us posted.

    Greetings from Germany.

  29. Steph says:

    Are you the master, yet?

  30. Kevin Xu says:

    Oh I gotcha… Thanks Oasis (Chris), Jess, and Snively for the clear-up, haha. Aw well, looks to be very fun!