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Nomic \Nom"ic\, a. [Gr. ?, fr. ? a law, custom.] Customary; ordinary; -- applied to the usual English spelling, in distinction from strictly phonetic methods.
--H Sweet. -- n. Nomic spelling.
--A. J. Ellis.


a. 1 (context dated English) customary; ordinary; applied to the usual spelling of a language, in distinction from strictly phonetic methods. 2 (cx sciences English) Relating to a law


Nomic is a game created in 1982 by philosopher Peter Suber in which the rules of the game include mechanisms for the players to change those rules, usually beginning through a system of democratic voting.

The initial ruleset was designed by Peter Suber, but first published in Douglas Hofstadter's column Metamagical Themas in Scientific American in June 1982. The column discussed Suber's then-upcoming book, The Paradox of Self-Amendment, which was published some years later. Nomic now refers to a large number of games, all based on the initial ruleset.

The game is in some ways modeled on modern government systems. It demonstrates that in any system where rule changes are possible, a situation may arise in which the resulting laws are contradictory or insufficient to determine what is in fact legal. Because the game models (and exposes conceptual questions about) a legal system and the problems of legal interpretation, it is named after (), Greek for " law".

While the victory condition in Suber's initial ruleset is the accumulation of 100 points by the roll of dice, he once said that "this rule is deliberately boring so that players will quickly amend it to please themselves." Players can change the rules to such a degree that points can become irrelevant in favor of a true currency, or make victory an unimportant concern. Any rule in the game, including the rules specifying the criteria for winning and even the rule that rules must be obeyed, can be changed. Any loophole in the ruleset, however, may allow the first player to discover it a chance to pull a "scam" and modify the rules to win the game. Complicating this process is the fact that Suber's initial ruleset allows for the appointment of judges to preside over issues of rule interpretation.