In an attempt to deflect emails and other correspondence from people who are wondering what the point of all of this is, let me (Eric) state upfront: I understand that there are plenty of ways to quickly determine who goes first in a game.
The mathematics of this research problem long ago overshadowed its practicality. If you want to determine who goes first in a game, just roll dice… standard dice. Sure you may have to reroll ties, but I'm sure you'll manage. Or, get all of the spades from a deck of cards and have each player draw one randomly… that'll suffice for up to 13 players.
So, for a three players, a specially designed d6 with “abc”, “acb”, “bac”, bca“, cab”, and “cba” on the faces will, with a single roll, tell you what order the three players should play in (hey! I actually do make such custom dice, and you can find them for sale here at MathArtFun).
There exist pleasant shapes for 24-sided dice, so the 4 player orderings could be determined with a single roll (sorry, I don't make custom d24s). Even 5 players can be accommodated with a single roll of a specially made d120. In fact, I 3D printed such a d120 (pictured at right), but gave up inking it (it's also a bit too massive to be conveniently rolled).
So, sure, the research being done on the Go first Dice problem is not solving a huge problem. But, mathematically speacking, it's a pretty interesting topic (at least to me, and a few others). And besides, there is something cool about using a set of Go First Dice, each player getting to roll his or her own die, and knowing there will be no ties, and the numberings are perfectly fair…