The Secret of Snakes and Ladders

published on July 9, 2020

Vsauce Kevin here with the ultimaterepresentation of good and evil an epicbattle of morality that has raged ongame boards across the globe for over2,000 yearssnakes and ladders wait snakes andladders that's nothing but a really

Simple kids game right wrong while therules are simple the math psychology andhidden spiritual lessons aresurprisingly complex so to highlightthat unique combination in a visual wayI commissioned an intricate version of

The game that harnesses electricity todemonstrate the unpredictable gameplaythe circuit that's made as we play willnot only show the path to victory butwill also reveal the meaning of lifesort of this video is sponsored by LG

Chem and this custom game board wascreated by engineering YouTube wizardAlan pan the winner of this game ofsnakes and ladders will trigger thismystery box to do somethingI seriously 100% do not know what's

Inside this box or what will happen whenthe first player reaches the finalsquare but we're about to find outtogether I do know that it's powered by16 double-a batteries Alan put ittogether in an afternoon and he promised

Me he promised that it will not burndown my house so that's goodhere's how it works Alan 3d printed redand yellow game pieces that containabout 50 feet of stainless steelconductive thread he's put a nail

Juncture at every snake's head and tailon every ladders top and bottom and atthe end of each row on the boardI'll start by hooking up both gamepieces to this bolt and tightening thisnut down on it I'll be red and you will

Be yellow and as we play I'll wrap thesteel thread aroundthese junctures which will weave a pathup ladders and downs snakes to show atrail of each players movement on thegame board here's the important part

When the winning players piece touches anode on the final square that willcomplete a circuit to thebattery-powered mystery box and whateverthis thing does it will do hey why arewe bothering with 16 alkaline batteries

Instead of using just a couple of thosepowerful lithium-ion cells because thoselithium-ion cells that kinda look likealkaline batteries are not safe when itcomes to lithium-ion cells they shouldbe assembled into an enclosed battery

Pack with protective circuitry batterymanufacturers like LG Chem regardconsumer safety as their number-onepriority and that's why they do not sellair cells to consumers wait what areBaer cells bear cells refer to

Individual lithium-ion cells that arenot incorporated into battery packs withprotective circuitry lithium-ion cellsnot embedded in a device with safetymechanisms made by crediblemanufacturers are currently being used

As a replaceable and rechargeable powersource in devices like flashlightsportable fans vapes and chargers if thecells insulating wrapper gets damagedwhile inserting and removing these barecells the negative can is exposed and

Metal objects like keys and coins make adangerous connection between thenegative can and the positive cap thiscan cause a short-circuit leading to asudden release of high-temperature gasand flammable materials which is called

Thermal runaway which is bad no onewants that so don't buy it don't sell itstay safe now let's climb some laddersand slide down some snakes or chutes youprobably know this game as chutes andladders since that's the name Milton

Bradley gave it in 1943 when it wasimportant to theus and sold for 50 cents I guess theythought snakes were scary and weirdwhich they are but to the game actuallygoes back much much further than your

Grandpa Joe it actually originated inIndia in about the second century BC andwas meant to teach children theimportance of karma and kama existencespush and pull between one's destiny andthe actions that disrupt the path to

That destinythe gameplay is obviously very simplethe two players started at square onewhich may actually be where we get thephrase starting at square one and thenroll a die for the player then moves

That number of spaces if you land at thebottom of a ladder then you get to climbthe ladder to that space if you land atthe head of a snake then you have toslide backwards down to the snake's tailand if there's nothing on the space then

It's the other players turn the firstplayer to get to the final 100 spacewins that's it that's the game in theOfficial Rules you need an exact roll toreach the 100th space so like if you'retwo spaces away you need to roll a two

To win but I can get pretty tedious mostpeople just call it a win when you rollat least high enough to get to the finalspace and I'll do the same or it'shistorically labeled ladders thatadvance your piece with good virtuous

Actions like generosity or learningconversely snakes were depicted alongwith vices such as greed or gluttonynavigate these snakes and ladderssuccessfully and the winner escapessamsara life's cycle of death and

Rebirth to reach moksha or salvation whoknew a game literally recommended forthree-year-olds was this profound justlooking at this board I can see thatsnakes are a lot worse than the laddersare beneficial but how much worse we can

Figure out the breakdown of this boards10 ladders and 11 snakes from 4 to 16 isa plus 12 12 to 33 is a plus 21951 plus two had much of a help thereand 88 to 92 is a plus for all rightsnakes 20 1 2 3 that's a minus 1852

11-30 993 225 minus 68 it's like fallingdown a well and 99 2 58-41 alright sothe advantage of ladders were looking at118 divided by 10 equals plus elevenpoint eight pearl adder and for snakeswe're looking at 388 divided by eleven

Equals minus thirty five point two sevenper snake it's almost exactly threetimes worse to land on a snake than itis beneficial to land on a ladder andthere's an additional snake in therejust to make it tougher because why not

And this whole thing is probably justrandom no it's not an integral messageof this game is that it's harder tofollow a path of good than it is tofollow a path of bad it's just easier toslide down into bad choices and bad

Habits and it is to lift yourself upwith virtuous deeds and as subtle as thegame's hidden moral lessons maybe get aload of the unseen mathematicaloperation this absolutely ancient boardgame is actually a 100 won state

Absorbing Markov chain a series ofevents that depends on the state of theprior event which we first explored inPerron doz paradox that couldtheoretically go on forever especiallywhen you've got so many punishing snakes

And if you want to make absolutely surethe next time you're playing this withyour five-year-old sister Sally that itdoesn't last nine hours well you can't Imean it's not likely that a game willlast the rest of your lives but with

Just the right combination of rolls andsnakes itwe could because snakes and laddersisn't a game of skill there's nothingyou can do to speed up a win and there'sno mistake that you can make to lose all

You can do is roll and see what happensokay this is taking a while what if Ireally really want to know when thisgame will end I can use board states andrandom rolls to run a Monte Carlosimulation that gives us the most common

Length of our snakes and ladders gameand the odds of any given length fourfour four yes we are close one two threefour four you one two three four allright look until this moment I had leftthis battery out for a reason I was

Worried that I don't know I would havemessed something up and then this thingwould have done something and then Iwouldn't have been able to put whateverhappens back in here so the fact iswe're at ninety eight and it's my turn

And as long as I don't roll a one it isthe actual moment of truth I've reachedthe end of the board I've successfullyascended ladders and overcome thepitfalls of evil snakes so I'm gonna putthis battery in now

It is fully charged as they say it islit okay I'm gonna move everything sothat you get the best possible look atwhatever is about to happen nextdon't roll the one don't roll the onedon't roll the one

Don't roll a one okay four all right ohhere we gomy gosh whose actual snakes well notactual snakes but spring-loaded snakesthe gearing up of it was actually almostas scary as the exploding snakes

Themselves snakes and ladders is aremarkable combination of mathematicsand human psychology that was inventedcenturies before the stochastictechniques needed to analyze it wereknown let alone two board game designers

Think about it a game intended forchildren needs to average just the rightlength too short and it's notinteresting enough too long and it getsboring snakes and ladders nailed this soperfectly that thousands of years later

Kids are still growing up playing thegame and that isn't an accident billionsof people across 100 generations haveplayed snakes and ladders without evenconsidering the deep story of numbersmorality and the essence of human

Existence buried below its childishfacade in describing the Hindu boardgame Leela which is a 72 space versionof snakes and ladders harish Johari saidthere is really only one game the gamein which each of us is a player acting

Out his role and while sometimes in lifewe land onladders that launch us ahead and othertimes we step on snakes that slide usback you gotta just pick up the dye andgive it another roll because the game

Goes on until eventually you reach yourgoal whether that's reaching Nirvana ortriggering a mystery box of springysnakes and as always thanks for watchinghey I recently went to Philadelphia andshot a really cool video with LG Chem to

Explain the dangers of handling bearcells lithium-ion cells can release wayway more energy than alkaline batterieswhich makes them amazing when they'reproperly and safely enclosed in aprotective battery pack but seriously

Risky to handle when air so to see mewalk you through how unsafe it is to usebare cells and just learn more check outthe great video that I made with LG Chemclick the link down in the descriptionbelow to do that you are going to really

Enjoy it I you can figure out what to dowith these pesky snakes any device thatrequires a user to handle bare cells isdangerous if the cells insulatingwrapper is damaged while inserting andremoving the bare cells from the device

The negative can becomes exposed andmetal objects like a key or a coin canmake a dangerous connection between thenegative can and the positive cap aconnection like this could cause a shortcircuit leading to a sudden release of

High-temperature gas and flammablematerials which is called thermalrunawayand the resultstop

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