“The Voynich Experiment” online game…

And now for something completely different… “The Voynich Experiment”, a free online Voynich-themed computer game by Marwane [Wan] Kalam-Alami, a software engineer from Lyon, France. Use the cursor keys to roll the ball around, and occasionally press [Enter] to “evolve” your ball, and then press [down]+[left] or [down]+[right] to rotate the evolved entity, solving puzzles as you go.

OK, OK, I admit that the history makes no real sense (dated 1642, and signed “A.K.”, presumably Athanasius Kircher a full 13 years before he had the real thing sent to him), and all that’s really taken from the Voynich is a blanked out scan of f67v and f68r (plus a few bits of Voynichese floating around in the intro), but… give the guy a break, it’s a bit of fun. *sigh*

Enjoy! :-)


  1. avatar Diane O’Donovan April 24, 2013 5:02 pm

    Ahhh – perhaps a co-incidence, but I’ve recently had a truly *massive* number of visits from somewhere in France. Could it be?

  2. avatar Diane O’Donovan April 25, 2013 12:23 pm

    Did you know that ” Louis XIII of France of a court anagrammatist who received the enormous salary of 12,000 livres a year”.

    Don’t you wish you had a time machine, Nick?

    info from a site I’ve just discovered:

    If you can catch the sliding box at the left, the ‘symbolic species’ including ‘Cipher’ sort the types as promised.


  3. avatar Diane O’Donovan April 25, 2013 12:27 pm

    correction: that site spells cipher “Cypher” and the quote came out all curious when cut-and-pasted.
    should have read:

    Did you know that
    a court anagrammatist was appointed by Louis XIII of France at the enormous salary of 12,000 livres a year ?

  4. avatar Tricia April 26, 2013 7:20 am

    Where can I find info on any Medici Bank cipher-system(s)?


  5. avatar nickpelling April 26, 2013 7:28 am

    Tricia: that’s a good question. I’m 90% certain that the Medici used code books rather than ciphers (that was what was in vogue in Florence in the Quattrocento), but I’ll check Kahn and the various books on Florentine history I have here, see what they say.

    There may also be a history of the Medici Bank that would discuss this. I saw an exhibition of Medici Bank stuff in Bruges a decade or so ago, which had loads of bank ledgers on show, as well as a ridiculously convoluted locking mechanism on a safe / trunk. But no ciphers or codes (bah!)


  6. avatar Tricia April 26, 2013 8:19 am

    Thanks Nick

  7. avatar Dave April 26, 2013 9:33 am
  8. avatar nickpelling April 26, 2013 9:16 pm

    Dave: thanks for that! I’d add that Cosimo de’ Medici lived rather earlier than the date Kahn gives for the cipher, so it seems likely that it should be dated 1454 rather than 1554. :-)

    All the same, I’m still sure that Florentines predominantly used code books rather than cipher keys: but I still need to go through my various sources on Florentine history to confirm or refute this rather unhelpful assertion of mine. :-)


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