ALERT: AS OF ██-██-2009, AT LEAST ONE COMPLETE COPY OF SCP-376 IS CLASSIFIED AS MISSING. REFER TO DOSSIER RM-46 FOR DETAILS.
Item #: SCP-376
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: All complete (which is to say, that no piece is missing or severely damaged) copies of SCP-376 are kept in a video-monitored but otherwise unguarded Non-Critical Research Cell (Cell-███) in Sector-28. This cell is to be kept furnished with chairs and tables all covered in a layer of thick cloth to avoid damage to any pieces or parts of SCP-376, and the walls and floor are to be similarly covered for the same reason. For reasons explained in Document #376-A/Document #███-A, all incomplete copies are to be kept in a locked and video monitored, but otherwise unguarded, containment cell (Cell-███-█, Building █, 3rd Floor) in sector 19 until all pieces can be found or it can be determined by some other means that said incomplete pieces are without question pieces of SCP-376. All personnel of Level 1 or higher are permitted to freely interact with any complete copy SCP-376, and are encouraged to do so for research purposes. All interaction with SCP-376 requires an immediate screening by a Level 2/376 researcher for no less than twenty (20) minutes to ensure that there have been no harmful effects caused by interaction with SCP-376. Personnel of Level 3 or higher may, with written approval of any 05 Personnel, remove a copy of SCP-376 from storage for research, study, or personal use for a period of no longer than fourteen (14) days at which time it must be returned to the facility along with a list of the names, telephone numbers and addresses of any one who has interacted with the object during this time.
Description: SCP-376 appears to be one of the earliest, and perhaps the earliest, examples of a board game, though many versions of the game exist throughout the ages. The oldest copy of the game dates back to 7202 BCE and was found in the ████████████ region of Iraq, just outside ruins of a Mesopotamian village (the oldest structures within only date back to 5311 BCE). The board (which was later excavated in 19██ due to the concerns raised by Document #376-A/Document #███-A), was roughly hewn from a split boulder .87 meters across, sanded down to create a fairly level playing surface on to which small squares were carved for the main board, as well as other areas having been designated to the sides. Pieces were stored in a crude stone box to the side of the boulder, as was a tablet (dating to 4855 BCE) explaining the rules. The tablet is written in Vinca symbols which has lead some SCP researchers to believe that the game was somehow transported from southeastern Europe sometime around 4000 BCE, although no proof has been uncovered to establish this. Due to the very ancient nature of the game it was dubbed "The Alpha Game" by General ███████, who originally oversaw SCP-376's containment before its reclassification.
SCP-376, when played, resembles a highly complex game of chess with story-telling elements thrown in. At least two (2) people are required to play the game, but there is no real limit to the number of possible players. Each player controls a number of pieces representing heroic people, monstrous creatures, buildings, armies and, in later versions, castles and other structures. Exposure to SCP-376 creates a profound sense of happiness and nostalgia. Prolonged exposure (starting after approximately thirty (30) minutes of time spent playing the game or watching someone play the game), creates a sense of reverence for the game, both literally and metaphorically. The after-effects of playing the game include an increased sense of the happiness and nostalgia experienced before playing, as well as a slight boost in intelligence lasting approximately four (4) times as long as the time spent playing the game. This boost in intelligence caused as much as a ten (10) point increase on standard IQ test scores taken by subjects shortly after playing the game. Anyone who plays and subsequently wins the game shows an even greater increase in intelligence (scoring as much as twenty (20) points higher on standard IQ tests for as long as eight times the amount of time spent playing), as well as an increase in what would appear to be the subject's natural luck. Winners of the game have reported finding large sums of money, winning prizes and contests, and having all around a better chance of succeeding at anything involving the element of random chance for as long as a week afterwards.
There are currently nineteen complete copies of the game within the Research Cell (Cell-███) and as many as ██ incomplete copies in the Sector 19 Storage Cell (Cell ███-█).
The following excerpts are from documents are written reports by many researchers involved in the study of both SCP-376 and SCP-███ regarding the often disputed status of SCP-376.
Author: General ███████
SUBJECT: Request for SCP-376's immediate reclassification.
Although it was long thought by many, including myself, that SCP-376, or "The Alpha Game" as I've dubbed it, would never merit anything further than the casual research of its properties, it has come to my attention that due to SCP-376's close relation to the recently acquired SCP-███ we must now take any further interactions with any copies of SCP-376 very seriously. The only copy of SCP-376 currently within our possession remains in the Non-Critical Items Vault in ████████, ██████████. It is my strong recommendation that, due to the SCP-███ incident, the copy of SCP-376 currently with the SCP Non-Critical Items Vault be transported to Sector 19 and reclassified as a Keter-level threat until further notice. It is also my strong recommendation that due to [DATA EXPUNGED] confiscated and taken to Sector 19 as well. We know the location of at least five more complete copies of SCP-376 around the globe, and we have leads on several others. It is in our best interest to find these copies and [DATA EXPUNGED].
[Note: This document continues on for thirty pages, detailing the particular methods for storage of what was considered at the time to be an extremely dangerous object. For reasons of security those details have been omitted, below is the last part of the Document.]
…it is my personal belief that the object we see here may not be man made and should be treated with as much caution as possible until a link to SCP-███ can be proved or disproved.
Author: General ███████
SUBJECT: No link between SCP-376 and SCP-███ found.
Research with Class D personnel continues to be inconclusive. Although Dr. ████ insists that more testing is necessary I for one am satisfied that SCP-376 no longer requires such strict supervision and control. It is my strong recommendation that SCP-376 be moved down from a Keter-level threat to a Euclid-level one. It is clear to my mind that SCP-376 and SCP-███ are not directly linked and that we cannot begin to fully understand SCP-376 as long as all these barriers remain in place, preventing further research. As you continue to read this please refer to Document SCP-███, as I firmly believe that a close comparison of the two cases will only further my theory of no link being established.
[Note: General ███████ goes on to discuss many theories regarding SCP-376 and his hopes that the ability of SCP researchers to have closer access to SCP-376 would allow for possible proof for any or all of his theories. Though Dr. ████ wrote a response entitled "Link between SCP-376 and SCP-███ found!" (Document #376-B-2), his response cannot be published here due to the extremely classified nature of the Document. This Document did eventually lead to the reclassification of SCP-376, from Keter to Euclid.]
Author: ██████ █. ██████████, Level 2/376
SUBJECT: SCP-376 proven Safe beyond all reasonable doubt.
It is my pleasure to announce that thanks to years of painstaking research by myself, ███ ███████, ██████ ████, and Dr. █████████, SCP-376 has been proven to be able to be reclassified as Safe beyond all reasonable doubt. Enclosed with this short note is an extensive experiment log which should prove help to support this conclusion. Although SCP-376 does display some strange properties and a lot of research can still be done on the objects it poses no great threat to anyone and should therefore be reclassified. We have also proven in this time that SCP-376 displays none of the dangerous properties of SCP-███, and that the two objects bare only a a circumstantial resemblance.
[Note: This Document eventually lead to SCP-376's current classification of 'Safe', once again to protests by Dr. ████ (see Document 376-C-2 DOCUMENT MISSING). Dr. ████ would later receive an infraction for his insubordination which lead to his reassignment to ████████]
[Document #376-D received an immediate 'Level 05 Only' classification shortly after its publishing and has never been seen again.]
Author: ███ ███████, Level 2/376
SUBJECT: Policy changes regarding SCP-376.
Due to the recent injury of ██████ █. ██████████ all staff involved in the study of SCP-376 have been ordered to start a project rotation schedule effective immediately. The projects assigned and the schedules involved have been posted in [DATA EXPUNGED]. This order has already been approved by 05-█, 05-█, and General ███████. Also effective immediately, all personnel currently possessing any copy of SCP-376 is required to immediately return said copy. The borrowing of such a copy will now require a fully filled out and signed copy of Form #████, including the permission of a level 05 member of personnel, and may last only two weeks. Although we have not as of yet proved that ██████'s injury was directly related to his extremely prolonged exposure to SCP-376 we cannot ignore that possibility.
[Note: Though this Document lead to a debate on the classification of SCP-376 it was eventually ruled by 05-█ that SCP-376 remain at a 'Safe' classification.]