In regards to the label “Official Pai Sho”, I feel like it’s important to explain how I feel our response should be when we see that label.
Some of the old rule collections have been labeled something similar to “Official Pai Sho”, but please note that everything Pai Sho is fan-made, perhaps aside from the Nick Pai Sho (aka Modern Pai Sho) game that came from Nickelodeon’s website.
So while there’s no “Official Pai Sho”, every game’s “official” source would be its creator. For example, I created Skud Pai Sho, so anything labeled Skud Pai Sho that’s different from the “official” Skud Pai Sho rules published by The Garden Gate would be incorrect. Skud Pai Sho itself is based on old rules I fell in love with, and its goal is to take parts of those old rules and make a different, great game out of it.
Another example of a Pai Sho game derived from another is how the upcoming project Trifle is inspired and based on Vagabond Pai Sho. My hope is that all projects that borrow or derive ideas from existing games do so with the goal of respecting and honoring the original works, as I strived to do with Skud Pai Sho and Trifle surely does with respect to Vagabond.
Please seek out or ask about the source of each game you come across if you’re interested, and support the people who have brought us these games! While some games are “officially” built into The Garden Gate – SkudPaiSho.com – you can try almost anything in the Pai Sho Playground. Try old rules, new rules, and your own rules!
Remember, “There have been countless variations of Pai Sho through the centuries and each culture has its own rules and variations of the game.”