Emergent Patterns: Game Wallpapers Beat Dull Wall Decor


Repeating patterns are at the heart of most wallpapers, as they are part of the core of many simple, old-school, paper-and-pen games. While elementary in design (and execution), these basic black-and-white wallpaper designs feature an element of creative, unique and ultimately unpredictable emergent design that makes them grow more complex with tiime.

The first layer – the original printed design – is as simple as it gets: a series of mazes, tic-tac-toe boards and crossword puzzles that naturally lend themselves to virtually infinite extension in any direction. Created by CinqCinq, these have been placed as the backdrops of art installations and waiting room interiors- perfect places to encourage spontaneous interaction.

By setting out specific colors of pencil, pen, crayon or marker, the designer (or space owner) gets to exert another level of control but ultimately leaves the finished product in the hands of people who pass through a given space. The palette is provided, but the rest evolves in a curiously natural way (and helps beat the boredom of waiting).

The neatest part, arguably, is the way in which the original pattern actually fades as you step away from the wall surface – the thin black lines dissolve against a largely-white surface, and the colorful overlays end up taking over as the dominant visual component. Given sufficient time, the original pattern could potentially disappear entirely, leaving only added layers showing.

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