Dominoes are a game of strategy and skill, and they’re a classic family activity. They’re also a good metaphor for the domino effect, which occurs when an event triggers another similar event that continues until a chain reaction takes place.
Using the Domino Effect in Your Story
When writing fiction, it can be tempting to use the domino effect to show readers what happens next. The trick is to keep the domino effect in your plot, but not use it too often.
It’s a powerful metaphor for how our world works, but it’s important to understand the context of how it came to be before you start using it in your writing.
The word “domino” comes from a French word that means “cape.” In that sense, domino refers to a long hooded cloak worn together with a mask during carnival season or a masquerade. It is thought that the name may have derived from this, although it has been suggested that it could also be a reference to a priest’s black domino contrasting with his white surplice.
One of the most interesting aspects of the game of dominoes is the physics behind it. When you stand a domino upright, it stores energy against the force of gravity, referred to as potential energy. When you knock it over, that stored energy is released as kinetic energy.
That’s why dominoes can be used to teach children about the principles of physics and how forces affect objects. It also makes them an excellent tool for understanding the nature of inertia, or the tendency for objects to resist motion.
Traditionally, European-style dominoes are made from bone or silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (MOP), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony. They are commonly painted or inlaid with contrasting colors, and they can have a number of different shapes or thicknesses.
In the United States, dominoes have become a popular game for both adults and children alike. Typically, sets contain 28 dominoes that are face down in a pile called a “boneyard,” and each player chooses seven dominoes to begin the game.
When players play the game, they try to match a domino to a domino already played in order to score points. Some games use a scoring version of “5s-and-3s,” which awards a point when five or three spots on a domino can be divided by two.
The earliest dominoes were wooden, but the modern game is now made of plastic or polymer. These are more durable and cost less than the wood versions.
They can be found in all kinds of designs, from whimsical to traditional. Some are designed to look like the shape of a domino, while others have an abstract design.
Some are more readable than other types of dominoes, such as large sets with Arabic numerals instead of pips, so that it’s easier to see how many spots each domino has. Some have a special coating that allows them to be flipped over without losing their marks.