Domino, an Italian word for “falling,” refers to a game where players arrange domino tiles on the edge of a table in order to create chains of dominoes that fall when each one is touched. Though domino is popular as a recreational activity, it can also be used for educational purposes, demonstrating the importance of cause and effect.
In writing, the domino effect is a tool that can help authors plot their manuscripts and develop their characters. Whether you compose your fiction off the cuff or take your time with a careful outline, plotting a story ultimately comes down to answering a single question: What happens next? Considering the impact of your character’s actions will help you create a satisfying narrative.
There are many different types of domino games that can be played with a standard double-six set of tiles, which contains 28 pieces. The most common are blocking and scoring games, which involve arranging dominoes in specific patterns to block or score points. In addition, domino sets are sometimes extended to include a higher number of possible combinations of ends. Examples of this are the double-nine, double-12, and double-15 sets, which add more dominoes to a basic set and allow for longer chain reactions.
Domino is a cousin of playing cards and is one of the oldest tools for game play. It originated in China in the 1300s and later became popular in Europe, where the markings on the tiles, called pips, were initially intended to represent the results of throwing two six-sided dice. Each domino has a unique combination of pips and belongs to a suit, with one side featuring a number and the other side blank.
To see a domino installation in action, watch this video of an artist creating an intricate display using thousands of dominoes. Despite the fact that each piece stands in place until Hevesh knocks it over, it requires a tremendous amount of potential energy to get it to fall. Hevesh relies on one physical phenomenon to make her creations possible: gravity. When a domino is tipped over, the force of gravity pulls it toward the ground and causes it to hit the next domino in the chain with enough momentum to send it rolling.
Similarly, certain events can have a domino effect, or a chain reaction that is so powerful it changes the course of an entire situation. For example, a patient who acquires an infection in the hospital may pass the infection on to another patient, potentially leading to more infections and possibly even the death of that patient. These are known as nosocomial infections.
A domino effect can also be seen in the way that people react to political situations. When a person speaks out against injustice or supports a particular politician, it can influence the views of others and change the direction of the debate. Similarly, a celebrity’s support of a company or product can have a domino effect on its sales.