A domino is a small rectangular block, usually twice as long as wide, on which are printed dots resembling those on dice. It is one of a number of game pieces, also known as bones, cards or men, that are used to play a variety of games. The pieces are placed edge to edge against other dominoes, either identical (as in the case of a double-six), or so that their open ends form a specified total. The value of a domino is determined by the number of its pips.
A domino set is a generic gaming device, used in many different games, that can be played by two or more people. A domino may be used as part of a larger board, such as an octagon, to create a larger playing surface. In addition to traditional game play, dominoes can be used as art objects or for educational purposes. They may be displayed in an art gallery, for example, or used to demonstrate physics concepts such as the law of gravity.
The domino effect is a concept in economics describing the chain reaction of events that results from the initial action of a single individual or organization. It is often used in business to describe the effects of a policy or decision on a group of organizations. For instance, if a company increases its prices, it can cause other companies to increase their prices as well, resulting in a ripple effect that spreads across the industry.
In fiction, the domino effect is a popular technique for plotting a story. It involves asking yourself how a character might react to a certain event or situation. Considering the effect of each choice that character might make and how that might affect others can help a writer develop a compelling narrative.
Domino is a popular word for a number of games and activities, and it’s also used as a verb that means “to set in motion.” The term can refer to any sort of sequence of events, from building a tower of dominoes to setting in motion a domino theory of international politics.
The term has also been used to refer to a political alliance between countries, with the United States frequently forging domino-like bilateral alliances in East Asia. Victor Cha describes this as a strategic approach, where the United States creates a chain of tightly knit bilateral alliances to control its partners and foster material and political dependency. For some, however, the term has become a metaphor for the chaos that would be unleashed if any one of these alliances were to fail or be disrupted.