When Jimmy and Crake start hanging out, they decide to play various computer games and surf the internet. One of the games they play is digital chess; Jimmy suggests that they should get a real chessboard, but Crake tells him that the only real version of chess is the one...
When Jimmy and Crake start hanging out, they decide to play various computer games and surf the internet. One of the games they play is digital chess; Jimmy suggests that they should get a real chessboard, but Crake tells him that the only real version of chess is the one that we play in our heads. Chess is a strategic game in which the winner wins because of intellect and foresight, which is why Crake enjoys it. Their chess games are interesting, because in a way they symbolize their relationship—Jimmy will realize in the end that he was nothing but a pawn in Crake's evil and manipulative mind game.
They also play a game called Blood and Roses, which is similar to Monopoly; the "blood" represents all of the bad things that humanity has done, such as genocides, murders, crimes, wars, and other human atrocities, while the "roses" represent human achievements such as art, scientific breakthroughs, innovations, and creations. The player rolls a virtual die, gets either "blood" or "roses," and makes a trade—an atrocity for an achievement, or an achievement for an atrocity. In the end, the player who has the most human achievements wins.
The problem with the game, however, is that it's easier to remember the "blood" than the "roses," and the the "blood" player is often the winner. The game affects the players' subconscious; Jimmy and Crake both become so immersed in the game and hoping to win it that they forget that they're basically playing with humanity's suffering. They do not care about the people who lost their lives or were harmed during these events—this is all just a fun and entertaining game for them. Even Jimmy, who is more empathetic and compassionate, forgets about mankind's struggles for a moment and focuses on the game. Crake, on the other hand, being the emotionless psychopath that he is, argues that this is actually the beauty and the point of the game.
Next, they play a game called Extinctathon, in which the players are required to have great knowledge about extinct species. In this game, Crake and Jimmy come up with their aliases—Crake and Thickney, which are extinct Australian birds. Jimmy is not overly affected by the game, as he sees it as a battle of knowledge; however, Crake is very invested in it, because it reflects his grand plans to bring humanity to the brink of extinction. He wishes to become a grandmaster because he believes that if he beats the game, his plan to wipe out almost the entire human race will also be successful.
Finally, they play a game called Barbarian Stomp, in which there are two sides—the barbarian side and the civil side. The two sides battle each other; in the end, the loser is stomped. Similarly to Blood and Roses, the game is based on violence and requires the players to behave emotionlessly and with a sense of indifference to aggression and destruction.
The games Jimmy and Crake play and the websites they visit, as well as their actions and opinions, essentially showcase how the characters have grown up in a dystopian society that is the product of a flawed system—a past culture that was so obsessed with consumerism, materialism, and selfishness that it completely reshaped the mindset of all humanity and reconstructed civilization's core values.