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The Buckminster Game

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Beginners learned how to establish parallels, by means of the Game’s symbols, between a piece of classical music and the formula for some law of nature. Experts and Masters of the Game freely wove the initial theme into unlimited combinations.

 

― Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

The Buckminster Game is an English-speaking, educational enrichment and adventure programme for teenagers from all over the world. The duration of the programme spans over nine consecutive months, consisting of weekly online sessions on Saturdays (1,5h) and three short residential periods in Bruges, Belgium (3-5 days each).

The educational objective of the programme is to equip our Players with a set of mental models, emotional capabilities and attitudes, cognitive habits, social skills, and intellectual foundations that will prepare them for individuation and thriving in the complex, uncertain, and open-ended reality. The programme is particularly beneficial for fast and challenging learners: for young people whose unique learning styles and interests demand interdisciplinary big-picture thinking and require a psychologically savvy holding environment. To learn more about our underlying philosophy and approach, please see the Buckminster Concept page.

The Ravens’ Bead Theorem

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Every morning, a powerful ancient wizard used to send his two ravens to fly over the world and report back to him. Every evening, the ravens would come back, sit on his shoulders, and whisper the news. One raven, who was also the wizard’s own mind, did all the remembering. The other, the wizard’s thought, would always bring an idea that has never been thought before… ‘They fly each day over the spacious earth’—sang their master when the birds were gone—’For the Thought I fear lest he come not home, but for the Mind my care is more’.
And indeed, one summer evening, just as the wizard feared and as you might have guessed, the ravens did not return. Something entirely different happened instead, elsewhere, and to someone who would have never expected that two birds might fly into her small attic room and give her a message to the world.
What to make of this story and was it even real? Nobody today can tell. Only the eldest people of Bruges still remember Erica and her strangely coloured bead. Sometimes they seem as if they were ready to tell you her story, but then they suddenly turn silent–and only keep smiling to themselves…

Unravel the mystery of the ravens’ forgotten visit to Bruges (or were they ravens at all?), while learning some cartography, mythology, art history, astronomy, science-fiction, psychology, martial arts, dance, economy, graphic design, animation, poetry, acting, coding, cryptography, and philosophy on the way!

Ready to be challenged? Enter the Game!

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Pre-Entry Task

Your Intelligence Is Needed!

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Your first task begins immediately, even before you officially sign up*.

Please, take your time to express as clearly and beautifully as you can your personal response to the following question: What should have been (but wasn’t) in the message that Erica received?

Once your response is ready, the task is not over yet. Now, we need you to learn some cryptography and encrypt your letter in a way that it cannot be read without your encryption key. Do not use any existing code, like the Morse Code, for example. No. You must invent your own!

Ready? Now prepare two separate files:

  • File 1 should contain nothing else but your encrypted letter,
  • File 2 should contain only your encryption key.
*In order to secure your place, you may apply before completing the task. If you choose this option, you will be asked to deliver the task within 4 weeks after submitting your application.

About the Game

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Game reality

The Buckminster Game is a continuous, open-ended reality: newcomers are joining always somewhere in the middle, like life. What has happened before remains in the memory of those who have been there earlier, so it is always a good idea for the new Players to try and investigate what the previous cohorts of Players have already found out.

 

Admission criteria for September’22 – February’23

There are three admission criteria for joining the Game in September 2022:

  • Born in the years: 2007-2013,
  • Conversational fluency in English, subject to the applicant’s self-assessment declaration,
  • Submission of the encrypted letter an the encryption key in two separate files, as described above.

 

Curriculum adjustment request letters for the schools

The dates of the (optional) residential sessions in Bruges may happen to coincide with the regular school days of many Players who are not based in Belgium. Whenever this is the case and an arrangement with the school is necessary, the Buckminster College will issue a letter for the school, requesting that an individual adjustment of the school duty is implemented so that the student can be excused from school for the periods of the residential sessions in Bruges, due to their participation in the educational acceleration and enrichment programme of the Buckminster College.

Game Schedules 2022-23

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The Game events in 2022-23 include:

  • Weekly online sessions at the Buckminster’s Flying Castle (browser-based): Saturdays, 11am-12:30pm CET from 3 September 2022 to 11 February 2023,
  • Three individual coaching sessions of 20-30 minutes each (online),
  • 2 residential sessions in Bruges, Belgium:
    • 3-6 November 2022 (3 nights) – to be confirmed by 5 September (Players) and 6 September 2022 (Buckminster College),
    • 22-25 February 2023 (3 nights) – to be confirmed by 22 November (Players) and 24 November 2022 (Buckminster College).
In order to subscribe to the calendar try to click on the blue ‘plus’ sign and see what happens…

Game Fees

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    • The enrollment fee, covering the general participation, online activities, and coaching sessions: 230 Euro (September’22 – February’23). The enrollment fee must be paid in full upon the confirmation of enrollment;
    • (optional) November bundle fee due on 6.09.2022, covering the instruction, lodgings, meals, guardianship, and insurance for the November residential session in Bruges: 390 Euro;
    • (optional) February bundle fee due on 23.12.2022, covering the instruction, lodgings, meals, guardianship, and insurance for the March residential session in Bruges: 390 Euro.

Siblings discount

The Buckminster College offers a 20% reduction of the bundle fee(s) for each sibling who is participating in the Game at the same time. The discount applies to the bundle fee(s) for the residential sessions in Bruges in which the siblings participate simultaneously, either in the same of a different House. The siblings discount is not applicable to the Enrollment fee.

Ready to be challenged?

Ask to be added to the waiting list

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