The Domino Effect

Domino is a type of game in which players try to make a line of dominoes fall one after another. It is often used for children and adults who enjoy games of chance and skill. A Domino is a small, oblong piece of wood or other material marked with 0-6 pips on each side. The pips are usually arranged in an array like the dots on a die, with some areas left blank.

Each player takes turns laying a domino on the table positioning it so that it touches one end of an existing chain or “antenna” of dominoes. The player must then either play a domino with a number showing on both ends of the chain or, if there is not a matching number available, “knock” (rap on the table) and play passes to the other player. The first player to play all of his or her dominoes wins the game.

If a domino has a number on both ends of the chain, it is called a double-spot. If the first player cannot play a domino with the number showing on both ends of the chain, the next player must pick a domino from the boneyard and lay it on the end of the chain closest to his or her. Each subsequent player does the same until a match is made or until all of the players cannot continue.

When Hevesh nudges the first domino, it’s actually because of physics. Dominoes have inertia, or the tendency to resist motion, unless some outside force is pushing on them. But it only takes a tiny nudge to push the center of gravity of the domino past its tipping point. Then the domino starts falling and generating energy, which it uses to push on the next domino.

Like dominoes, writing is a series of tiny steps that build to the final product. We all know the feeling of putting the final piece in place, then watching the whole thing fall into place. It’s a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, knowing that your hard work has finally come to fruition.

Hevesh’s grandparents gave her a classic 28-pack of dominoes when she was 9. She started posting videos of her constructions online and became a professional domino artist, creating spectacular domino effects for movies and TV shows—even an album launch for Katy Perry. Hevesh creates her creations by starting with the biggest 3-D sections, followed by flat arrangements and then lines that connect the whole thing together. She also tests each part of her installations before bringing them to life. The smallest change in any part can have huge implications for the entire setup.