A Turing Machine is a simple computer capable of simulating complex logarithms. You might remember the interactive doodle Google did of one a few months back for Alan Turing’s 100th birthday. Despite, or rather *because* of their tremendous simplicity, Turing Machines are able to model a wide range of systems, and in turn you can model a Turing Machine out of virtually anything, from conventional computer hardware to Lego bricks.

Now, smart cookie Alex Churchill has worked out that you can create a functional Turing Machine using only Magic: The Gathering Cards. What?! As Churchill explains,

There’s an idea called “Turing completeness”, which is used to indicate that a system has a particular degree of complexity. Any Turing-complete system is theoretically able to emulate any other. One way to show that a system is Turing complete is to make a “Turing machine” in it. […]

But doesn’t Magic involve the players making lots of choices?Normally, yes, it does. But occasionally in normal gameplay you get a sequence of three or four events in a row that are forced to happen by the cards and the rules of the game. The machine below just extends this idea to millions of forced choices in a row.

Churchill has assembled a complete guide for the Magic Turing Machine (…that sounds so disrespectful somehow), including all the cards you need to make your own. Now go forth and compute as Turing intended!

Via Kotaku.

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