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Anyone know what book/story this refers to?

"Remember the scifi book you had us read about the omnipotent / omniscient computer that obeys Asimov's 3 rules? People got into 'death games' where they tried to trick the computer into letting them die?"

  • This sounds like one of Asimov's Multivac stories. I remember at least one where he played games to get people to kill him, though not one where people try to die themselves. Check out the Multivac bibliography, maybe one of those helps. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multivac – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Jun 29 '13 at 6:15
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I think the book you're talking about is The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect. I just finished reading it, and the question is a very succinct summary of the plot. Asimov's 3 laws are deeply woven into the book, almost as much as they are in I, Robot. Additionally, the book opens with the main character in a death game, and significant time is spent explaining the relationship between the death games and the 3 laws.

There's a good enough plot summary on the Wikipedia page to sound familiar to someone who'd read the book before, and copies of the text are available for free online (legally). (You can also buy a hardcopy.)

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Since you're looking for a computer and not a robot, this disqualifies "Little Lost Robot", although this story is well worth the time reading it. ;-)

But i do believe the "death games" might be from "Reason", although IIRC there's only one such attempt before the computer basically

quarantines them.

  • Um, in neither of those stories are the humans playing "death games" with the intention to die. In those stories, they are either trying to prove a point ("Reason") or detect a lost robot through trickery ("Little Lost Robot"). – Andres F. Dec 6 '13 at 0:06

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