Let’s play a Game

Just because (a) I’m super busy right now and (b) this little quiz (via Reddit) has been running around in my head all day. Here we go:


You’re going to spend 10 years in a 10×10 foot cell. The cell has the most basic facilities; a toilet, cold running water from a tap, a thin mattress and a light. Everyday a basic ration of food is delivered through a small hatch. There is no way to escape this cell. Before you enter you are given 30 credits to spend on some of the following items.

  • Access to a basic gym. It contains a rowing machine, treadmill and several free weights. [10 Credits]
  • A window. The window overlooks a lake. It does not open and you cannot break the glass. [3 Credits]
  • A comfortable bed. Memory Foam Mattress, a quilt and two comfortable pillows. Sheets are washed weekly and delivered through the hatch. [6 Credits]
  • Unlimited alcohol. Either beer or spirits available through a second tap. You must choose what drink you want before you enter the cell and cannot change your selection. Mixer available for spirits. [8 Credits]
  • 42″ TV. You can select 1 TV station to view. You must choose what station you want before you enter the cell and cannot change your selection. [6 Credits]
  • PS3/Xbox360/Wii. You may select one current generation console and 10 games. You must have a TV to play these on. [6 Credits]
  • Gaming PC. You can select 10 games. The computer has no internet connection. [10 Credits]
  • 100 Books. You can choose your selection. [7 Credits]
  • Unlimited takeaway food. Whenever you want you could get McDonalds’, KFC, Burger King, Subway, or any other food from a fast food restaurant. [10 Credits]
  • A companion. Another person to spend the time with. You may choose the sex of the person and general age. [15 Credits]
  • 32GB MP3 player and speakers. Loaded with your favorite music. [5 Credits]
  • Tennis ball. Think of the fun you can have! [2 Credits]
  • Fleshlight and unlimited lube. Vibrator if you’re a lady. [5 Credits]
  • Glory hole. Insert penis, receive blow job! Opposite for the ladies. [6 Credits]
  • Netflix. You must have a TV or PC to view it on. As new films are released they will be available to view. [2 Credits]
  • A cat. The cat will receive as much food and vetcare as it needs. [5 Credits]
  • A dog. Mans best friend. The dog will receive as much food and vetcare as it needs. [4 Credits]
  • Access to a read only archive of Reddit. [2 Credits]
  • Hot water. Available in a shower cubical attached to the cell. [3 Credits]
  • Access to a garden. The garden is the same size as the cell. It is surrounded by 15ft walls which are impossible to climb over and escape. [9 Credits]
  • Double the cell space. Have a bit more room to live in. [4 Credits]
  • Get out 1 year early. You may buy as many of these as you like. [4 Credits]
  • $2million when you leave. You may buy as many of these as you like. [3 Credits]
  • Healthcare. If you get ill, whether it’s a cold or full blown cancer, you will receive the best medical care possible. [5 Credits]
  • Youth. Don’t age a day while inside the cell. [5 Credits]
  • Knowledge. You will have the chance to study for 6 hours every day in a subject of your choice. A tutor will be available once a week. [7 Credits]
  • Guitar. A guide to how to play is included if you don’t know how. [6 Credits]
  • Leave immediately card. You can use this to leave the cell straight away. However you will forfeit your ability to see. You’ll be free but blind. You can choose whether or not to use this item. [1 Credit]

So: what do you pick and why?

I’ll post my answer in a few days, so as not to skew replies.


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10 Replies to “Let’s play a Game”

  1. Youth, Knowledge, Companion, 2 Million Dollars.

    I get to spend 10 years learning whatever I want, I spend it with a companion, I don’t age a day and I get paid for the privilege.

  2. Youth, Knowledge, Gaming PC, Cat and $2 million.

    Youth and money for the moment when I go out.
    Knowledge – both for after and as a way to keep myself entertained.
    A cat because I would need a companion of sorts.
    Gaming PC – loaded with some strategy games with high replay value – Galactic Civilizations 2, Heroes of Might and Magic, Civilization, Dwarf Fortress and others like that.

  3. • Gaming PC. You can select 10 games. The computer has no internet connection. [10 Credits]
    • Netflix. You must have a TV or PC to view it on. As new films are released they will be available to view. [2 Credits]
    • Knowledge. You will have the chance to study for 6 hours every day in a subject of your choice. A tutor will be available once a week. [7 Credits]
    • $2million when you leave. You may buy as many of these as you like. [3 Credits]
    • A window. The window overlooks a lake. It does not open and you cannot break the glass. [3 Credits]
    • Healthcare. If you get ill, whether it’s a cold or full blown cancer, you will receive the best medical care possible. [5 Credits]

    Reasoning. Window and healthcare are required as living in a cell isn’t particularly healthy. Garden would have been nice but 9 credits is too much. Money is required to help reintegrate into society afterwards. Knowledge lets you stay up on current events as does Netflix to a degree. Gaming PC is entertainment but most a method for watching netflix and cheaper than a TV+games (if however the console games do come with an internet connection for multi-player games I would go that route).

  4. I am toying with the following:
    5 Years remission [20 credits]
    Healthcare [5 Credits]
    $2 million [3 credits]
    Tennis Ball [2 credits]

    I would be gambling on “the best medical care possible” being able to keep me sane (restore my sanity?) for five years. The $2 million at the end gives me a reason to live. That leaves only two credits left over for entertainment so it is a toss up between Reddit and a Tennis ball and I reckon the tennis ball is better because it provides physical and mental stimulation (trying to think up another stupid thing to do with a tennis ball).

    How come a dog is cheaper than a cat? Seems to me a dog is a better companion.

  5. So here’s me:

    • 18 million dollars. (That’s 2 million @ 3 points each, times 9.)
    • Leave immediately card. (1 point.)

    I can bear blindness, but not 10 years away from my family. If I must pick one or the other to suffer, I’ll go with the option that takes away no time from them and grants some financial benefit.

    2 points left?

    Tennis ball, because what the hell.

  6. If I choose to look at this as ‘the best way to spend 10 years in a 10×10 room’, rather than ‘what would I, personally, do’, then:

    A window. The window overlooks a lake. It does not open and you cannot break the glass. [3 Credits] — I think this is somewhat necessary.

    100 Books. You can choose your selection. [7 Credits] — These are the 100 books I would choose.

    Healthcare. If you get ill, whether it’s a cold or full blown cancer, you will receive the best medical care possible. [5 Credits]

    $2million when you leave. You may buy as many of these as you like. [3 Credits] — That leaves me earning 200 thousand a year for the duration of incarceration, which isn’t terrible.

    Youth. Don’t age a day while inside the cell. [5 Credits] — Because why not?

    Knowledge. You will have the chance to study for 6 hours every day in a subject of your choice. A tutor will be available once a week. [7 Credits] — I think this is a good choice, assuming I’m not stuck with the same exact topic for the whole 10 years. If I were, I might still select this, and go with a nice broad heading like “history”.

  7. On the cat vs. dog thingy – I guess the cat is more expensive because it can get used to living in a 10×10 room. I don’t think a dog (even a small one) could do that.

    @doycet: I considered the book option myself, but I think it would take me less than 3 months to read them all. Even re-reading some of them, I think 7 credits for ‘consumables’ that last at most a year is too much.
    Also, as a side-note: I would recommend Hidden Things to anyone going for the Books. I I bought it last week-end and wasn’t able to put down my Kindle until I reached the last page. I liked the book a lot and I’m now waiting for your next one 🙂

  8. Does healthcare cover mental health? If so, a therapist could almost double as a companion (or at least someone to talk to).

    If so, getting youth+healthcare could probably reduce any lasting “cost” of the experience.

    I’d go with:

    7p knowledge.
    3p $2 million. something to look forward to.
    15p companion.
    5p youth.

    I’m tempted by the gym, but 20*20 is enough space to do personal workouts and “youth” assures my body won’t get old from all the sitting around :p

    Also very tempted by more space (try reading up on russian experiments on living in confined spaces for long periods of time with people). But expanding the horizons of the mind with knowledge should be enough.

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