A new dartboard is in use in the darts world championships currently being held, reports Alex Bellos at his Guardian blog. Because in darts one has to end on a double, parity becomes important – but previous dartboard designs had clusters of odd and even numbers. The design, by David Percy at Salford in the UK, tries to separate odds and evens in addition to separating large and small numbers as much previous work had done; you can read Percy’s Mathematics Today article.
I’m having trouble thinking of other games where such a drastic change to the field of play could be implemented. One possible example might be Scrabble. The dynamics of Scrabble and of its clone Words with Friends have always felt just a little different to me because WWF has a different arrangement of premium squares which make very high-scoring plays possible.