As a game, or just an idea at the moment one might consider the following rules for a way of programming that sits somewhere between mob programming and pair programming.
There are two sets of 4 programmers to start with.
Programmers will sit as observers and drivers or planners.
There are three roles: planning and driving will alternate and observer observes and guides or questions both the planning and the driving.
Planning role is used to plan the phase for the other programmer’s task as a test or in other ways(Design by Coding or UML).
This allows anyone in the set to complete the next step in programming and implement the planned feature in code.
The programmer will be assigned at random, so that everyone gets a turn to be in alternating roles all the time. The game should be able to scale quite nicely and three sets of 4 programmers may well function better than two sets.
Potential problems may occur when people get attached to a code they want to complete or feel more interested in than what they get with random assignment. This could be remedied with a little shortlived note that appears with the requested plan description for the code that you can then choose to begin coding at.
This game/technique of quadrille programming should allow for an implementation for random programmers to meet online for better code review and better planning than just programming alone ‘the horrible mess of open source code’. Maybe even a GitHub plugin? It could improve the codebase quality, let people connect, allow introverts to code from their bedroom/garage, who knows maybe even make friends while celebrating the potential of random anonymous programming. Also it does not need to be for the duration of the whole project. In addition stagnant projects may get more interest vs the more popular ones getting all the heat.