Herman Hesse was a German author born in Calw on the edge of the Black Forest in 1877. He wrote many novels including Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, Demian and others. His last and perhaps greatest work, Magister Ludi The Glass Bead Game, won him the Nobel Prize in 1943. In it Hesse lays the foundation for a playable modern glass bead game called ZYZYGY.
The idea of the Glass Bead Game, like all great ideas, had no real beginning, for the ideal of it has always been. Hesse himself traces it as far back as the ancient Chinese through the academies of Plato and Aristotle, the humanism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and on to the Romantic philosophies. In our age this same eternal ideal embodied in ZYZYGY inspires the integration of science, art, religion, and society. We refer to ZYZYGY as the “holy grail of games”; Hermann refers to the Glass Bead Game as the universitas litterarum of the mind.