The Domino Effect

Domino is a small block of wood or ivory with one or more square sides marked by dots like those on dice. Its value is the number of spots or pips on each side. A domino that has more pips is a “heavier” or higher-value piece than one with fewer, or no, pips. In game play, a domino is normally arranged edge-to-edge against another in such a manner that the adjacent faces form a match or some specified total. Dominoes may also be used to solve arithmetic puzzles.

The word domino is also a metaphor for something that has a profound influence on the whole. A domino effect occurs when a single event or action has a chain reaction that causes other events to occur, usually in an orderly but sometimes unpredictable way. For example, a traffic accident might trigger the resignation of a high-ranking government official, and the resignation could cause other government officials to step down, and so on. This domino effect can be seen in the real world as well as in fiction and nonfiction writing.

In a story, each scene domino is ineffective by itself but becomes effective when combined with other scenes to build toward the conclusion of the narrative. For example, a domino might be a character’s introduction in the first scene, a confrontation between two characters in the second scene, and an unexpected resolution to the conflict in the third scene. This domino effect makes the narrative more engaging and draws the reader into the story.

Hevesh has built a career as a domino artist, creating elaborate displays for movies, TV shows, and events. Her YouTube channel has more than 2 million subscribers, and she’s set a Guinness record for the most dominoes in a circular arrangement. Her largest designs can take several nail-biting minutes to fall. Hevesh says she has learned to work with the inertia of dominoes, allowing them to resist motion until a tiny nudge tips them over. Once a domino has fallen, it releases energy that can be used to push on the next piece.

When a company’s culture falls apart, it can have a domino effect on the employees and the customers. A few bad experiences can lead to a perception that the company is going downhill, which could cause people to stop shopping there or even switch jobs. But if a company can turn around its culture, it can reclaim its status as a great place to work.

The most popular games of domino are played with a standard double-six set (28 tiles). Larger sets exist and are often used for long-games, and some sets include different shapes and colors to increase the visual appeal of the game. The most popular type of game is a blocking game, in which the object is to empty a player’s hand while blocking his opponent’s. The winner is the player whose remaining dominoes form the highest total of pips.