monochrom's massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling


Rules, network architectures and examples


1. Thumb-Wrestling basics

Basically, thumb-wrestling works like this: 2 players put the fingers of their right hands together, then form a fist keeping the thumbs up. The player who first manages to tie down the other's thumb and hold it tight wins.

In case a referee is present he or she will mark the winner's thumb with chalk. The winners raise their hand.

2. Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling

It is possible to put together three hands of three players who want to indulge in thumb-wrestling. A nodal network is formed. In a game of three, the player holding tight the thumb which is furthest down is the winner. All other thumbs (further up) have a walk-over for the two thumbs furthest down are frozen already.

Since humans have two hands the left hand can be used to connect even more players to the network. Thus, various possibilities pop up.

3. Warm-up

Warm up before the wrestling. Only practice safe wrestling!

4. Fair Play

No violence, please! We compete but we do not fight. Understood? The hands are to be kept as still as possible. Clipped nails are extremely helpful. No lubricants.

5. Report

If you host a Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling event please announce it at monochrom (email to thumb(at)monochrom(dot)at) or post it on Twitter (#mMMTw). We would really like to know what's happening. We don't want to keep you in check or anything, but we are really interested in documenting where the idea will end up.

After your wrestling-competition, please send some pictures for our photo-archive.

Multiplayer network architectures:

Big Gang

All players put together their right hands to form a big knot. The more players will join in the harder it gets to really play. Recommended for the farewell lap.


A chain of players. The players get in two lines, facing each other. Then everybody takes a step to the right so that they can grab the hands of their two opposing neighbours.

Token Ring

Like the chain. Only closed. This pattern may only be built by an even number of players. Half the players form a circle facing outside back to back. The rest connects the players in the middle by clinging to them from outside. Originally 'Token Ring' is a network topology by IBM (circulating packets).


Three players form a knot in the middle with their right hands. More players connect to their left hands, three chains are formed. At the end of each chain again knots of three players are formed.

Kazaa Peer to Peer

As many three-player-knots as possible are built. Then these knots are connencted via the players' free left hands.

Death Star Reactor

Killer architecure! Right hand build a threesome circle, left hands above with thumbs down. Looks just like the Deathstar reactor from 'Star Wars'.

For comparison: the original reactor (ripped off here:

Down Under

A chain formed by sticking the hands between the legs. Please take care not to fall over and hurt your heads!


Turn left thumb down and put left hand in right. Build knot with opponent.



(xvid 5 Codec)

Handshake Protocol

Three players and referee-directives

Four players


Concept: Johannes Grenzfurthner, Leo Sauermann, Michael Zeltner

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