Infinite Games and Play

I've recently finished Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse. Interesting read, though sometimes he starts talking on a tangent pointed at the stars.

Basic premise: There are at least 2 types of games, finite and infinite. The goal of finite games is to "win" and by winning, stop further play. The goal of infinite games is to perpetuate play - while you play, you are winning the game. He posits that every human interaction can be boiled down into one of these two types. It's a very black-and-white worldview, even though infinite games are by definition boundless shades of grey.

What does this mean for gaming?

The games we play are finite. They have an end, even if it's "We're all bored of this, let's play something else." Get the Maguffin. Save the princess. Slay the dragon. They're finite.

Playing the game is infinite. The point is to keep playing with friends, to share experiences and make memories. The game is a vehicle to get friends together and share lives.

I've been poor at sharing my time lately, and I'm really starting to feel that loss in my life. We're planning a game day sometime soon, probably after I fix the hole in my kitchen ceiling.

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