This is a game for ten or more programming languages. The rules are as follows:
- Every single non-alphanumeric character in the ASCII set is put into a hat. Players draw from the hat without seeing what they are drawing.
- At the beginning of the game, LISP draws two matched parentheses from the 2-card “LISP deck”, which is then exhausted. Both LISP and the LISP deck play no further part in the game.
- The players sit in a circle, and play proceeds clockwise. Programming languages choose in a random order, apart from ALGOL, who chooses first.
- Each player borrows 3 characters from the player to their right, and draws from the hat as many additional random punctuation characters as they feel they need to create an expressive language and a related documentation format. They must then choose an escape character, which must not be the same as any of their characters, but must duplicate a non-escape character picked by a previous language.
- At any point during the 1990s, a player may play the Unicode card. From then on, the original ASCII hat is supplemented by a Unicode bin containing every single character used by a living language, and most dead ones.
- NB: It is a common house rule that all players ignore the unicode bin with the exception of F#, who chooses last and often has to root around in it for some unused characters
- Any player who feels that the game is proceeding too slowly may play the SGML card, and may pick any matched pair of punctuation used by a previous player and redefine it to be the foundation upon which further markup is based. Subsequent players no longer need to define a documentation format, though they must now pick two escape characters.
- Once all the players have chosen their punctuation, each must write an operating system. Points will be deducted for any code that is valid in more than one language.