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Living The Dice Life: You Control The Fate Of Our Reviewer (LIVE BLOG)

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This month, cult novel The Dice Man was given a modern reboot.

'Dicing' - a process by which you surrender your life to the random whim of a dice like the book's protagonist - is now possible using a mobile phone app called Dice Life.

dice life

But can an app really be more user-friendly than a cube you roll on a table? And more importantly, is there anything we can learn about living a happier life by following the book's teachings, 41 years after it was first published?


We've decided to give our review of the Dice Life app a modern reboot of its own by live blogging our experience as we test it out for a day.

This Saturday 28 July your intrepid reporter (and his friend) will wake up, ask the dice what to do and then obey it until midnight.

As the day unfolds, we'll be keeping you updated and asking you to Tweet or leave suggestions on the live blog as to where we go and what we do next. Think of us as your puppets, and youself - and the dice - as our Gods.


Luke Rhinehart's 1971 novel The Dice Man came with the subheading 'Few novels can change your life. This one will' - but it was no touchy-feely self-help book.

Instead, it was the wickedly funny tale of a depressed psychologist who accidentally stumbles over the idea of living the rest of his life by the random whim of a dice - and through it discovers the liberation of surrendering your personality, action and future to chance.

Based on Rhinehart's own experiences of using dice to makes decisions while studying psychology, the book soon developed a cult following of people around the world who wanted to follow his example.

For one day, we aim to discover if The Dice Man was right...

@ HPUKCulture : Personality experiments are going well. Will report properly in the morning #DiceDay

Check back on Monday for the full story of #DiceDay!

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@ HPUKCulture : ...We will roll again every hour, and if so decreed, dramatically change our personalities in an instant #DiceDay

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@ HPUKCulture : The Dice has picked 'Positive' for Sam, meaning be relentlessly upbeat and love everything mentioned in conversation #DiceDay

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@ HPUKCulture : The Dice has picked 'Serious' for Carl. That means focusing on the sombre and bringing any jovial conversation back to heavy topics...

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@ HPUKCulture : Persona options for tonight's party: 1. Complimentary man 2. Arrogant 3. Positive 4. Negative 5. Serious 6. Obsessive #DiceDay Let's roll...

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...singing to, drawing, and approaching strangers to ask about their beards, we're leaving Brighton and returning to London for tonight's party.

Check in later to see how living by the Dice Life shapes our evening.

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Jim, 24, grew his beard to "annoy my ex-girlfriend,"

"Unfortunately it worked a little too well - we split up not long afterwards."

And the good news for your beardless reporter?

"I don't think girls like beards particularly. You're not missing much."


36-year-old Richard grew his beard a couple of years ago.

"It was to compensate for losing what I had on top, if I'm honest

"You're OK - you've got plenty of hair" he reassured me.


Bukky, 23, took a philosophical stance on facial hair.

"It help me get served in shops easier, but it also feeds into how you feel about yourself.

"If having a beard makes you feel more confident, you will become more confident. I'm keeping mine for now."

So what did the Dice teach us this time round? That men are surprisingly open to talking about their facial hair - and that a beard doesn't necessarily make a man feel more 'masculine'...

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The Dice has decided to send us on a voyage of discovery before we leave Brighton.

Anyone who knows this author personally will be aware that he has the complexion of a small child - despite longing for a Hemingway-style beard since adolescence.

To better understand what it is to be a man with facial fuzz, we're setting out to speak to the best-bearded men in Brighton, hoping to come to terms with our own follicle failure.

Back soon with our findings.

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  1. Convince people we're lost Olympic athletes
  2. Hit the beach in the most embarrassing costumes we can find
  3. Ride a donkey
  4. Do a shot of the dreaded vodka
  5. Take a dip in the (freezing cold) ocean
  6. Talk to some men about their mustaches

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"We're aspiring artists looking to start a new business as caricaturists," was the line.

"Would you like your picture drawn for free?"

The worst bit of this Dice task was turning the pad around at the end and revealing the absolute monsters we'd made out of a succession of perfectly good looking and pleasant people.

However, once we explained it was a 'abstract impression' most seemed bemused, but not too upset.

Generally speaking we spend our lives sticking to the things we know we're good at. For the second time today, the Dice forced us to try something we couldn't do well, in public. Maybe this is something people should do more often, if only to feel humble.

Currently we're enjoying a lunch (selected by the dice) of beefburgers and chips. We DID include some unappealing dinner options (candy floss, the cheapest fried chicken in Brighton) but mercifully, the Dice led us to an Irish bar for a great slab of beef and the first Guinness of the day, perhaps taking pity on us for the first time.

Next up: one last adventure in Brighton, then back to the bright lights of London...

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FROM: Francesca Nicholls TO:

For some reason I can't log in to post a comment. If I could, my comment would be:

Love the Dice Life Challenge! Why only personality traits for the party? How about whole new personas? Religious devotee; Escaped criminal; Hippie; Rock Star; Professor of Robotics; Kung Fu master.

And are you going to change personas? Maybe the dice should decide how often :-)


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Quick preview before we go off drawing: though right now we're harnessing the power of the dice to challenge ourselves to do stupid things, tonight we're going to a party.

There we'll be using the dice to dictate how we interact with others, and what side of our personalities we bring to the fore in a social environment.

Aggressive? Charming? Deranged? The Dice, as you've probably guessed by now, will decide...

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So the idea here is to set up a makeshift stand with a pad and some pens and offer people free caricatures. Neither of us can draw.

In theory, it'll be a good way to get talking to people who (hopefully) don't take themselves too seriously. Either that, or deeply upset some strangers.

Pics to come.

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Quick note on the busking.

I'm not much of a fan of public speaking, let alone singing.

Getting started and belting out a tune felt a bit like when you're a kid jumping off something high into some water.

Scary as you go over the edge, quite refreshing when you hit the bottom.

Of course this would all be much, much easier if we'd rolled a few vodka shots by now.

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Dice, do your worst...

  1. Convince people we're lost Olympic athletes
  2. Hit the beach in the most embarrassing costumes we can find
  3. Ride a donkey
  4. Do a shot of the dreaded vodka
  5. Set up a make shift caricature stand
  6. Talk to some men about their mustaches

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We tossed our tune less rendition into the sea air and you know what? It was strangely enjoyable.

The dice is breaking us down and rebuilding us piece by piece.


Well, no one punched us at least.

busking 2

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@ HPUKCulture : We're here! #DiceDay

dice life app

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@ HPUKCulture : We're going to do a lounge version of Barbie Girl accompanied by cardboard box percussion. It's the only song Carl knows all the words to.

Any good ideas? Leave a comment below or tweet us at @HPUKCulture

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dice life app

The one we were most dreading. Dice life is getting harder. Carl's on singing duties, I'm going to dance. Let's see how much we can make before we get arrested.

Juvenile and humiliating or a liberating dethroning of the self? We'll let you know.

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Once we hit Brighton, we will either:

  1. Convince people we're lost Olympic athletes
  2. Hit the beach in the most embarrassing costumes we can find
  3. Ride a donkey (suggested by @jdthdr)
  4. Do a shot of the dreaded vodka
  5. Go busking with no instruments
  6. Start a mass game of football on the beach

Results soon...

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dice life app

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@ HPUKCulture : Dreaming up dice options for Brighton. Skinny dipping? Whale watching? Convince people we're lost Olympic athletes?

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@ HPUKCulture : No point asking the dice to decide which bus to get to the train station. There's only one. 345, since you're asking. #DiceDay

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But what should we do when we get there?

Leave your suggestions below - make them as outlandish or stupid as you like - or tweet them to @HPUKCulture.

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London is our Oyster. But will it be...

  1. Attempting to get into the Olympic Park
  2. Visiting the Queen at Buckingham Palace
  3. A boat trip in Hyde Park
  4. A random Tube stop we've never visited
  5. Borough market
  6. A day trip Brighton


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...but this soothing herbal relaxant is going down a treat.

Dice living = easy.

Pretty soon though we're going to have to decide who to be and what to do for the next few hours.

Suggestions below most welcome...

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