I don’t know how active this sub is but I’d like to talk to people interested in non-rivalrous, non-acrimonious discussions about the meaning of Game B.
I have a working definition and I wonder if anyone is having the same ideas as me. I’m not hearing a precise definition from Jordan Hall, Jim Rutt, Brett Weinstein or Daniel Schmachtenberger for Game B, for reasons I can only speculate about. I have heard something slightly more precise from Jamie Wheal, which comes from James Carse’ book from 1986, Finite and Infinite Games. He suggests that Game B is actually synonymous with the Infinite Game, with Game A being the finite rivalrous game. This seems to fit with the commentary of Jordan Hall and Daniel Schmachtenberger.
My definition comes from that as well, but I think its a bit more precise than James Carse, who leaves the definition of the infinite game a little vague as well. He suggests that the infinite game is the game of continuing the game while including all of the players. But James Carse never defines the word “game”.
James Carse gets his terminology from Wittgenstein, but Wittgenstein suggests that the word “game” cannot be defined, since the term is only defined within its own game framework, and is therefore is circular, paralleling Gödel’s incompleteness theorem in mathematics. In short, this suggests that within any game the word “game” cannot be defined independent of the goals of the game (the axioms), and thus if religion is a language game, and philosophy is another language game, then neither religion nor philosophy can say anything about the “game”, the ultimate meaning, of the other. Science is a completely different game, and it cannot say anything about language games like philosophy or religion. This seems to have been Wittgenstein’s conclusion.
Put in other terms, science is interested in “is” questions, while religion is interested in “ought”. Since you cannot generate “ought” statements from any series of “is” statements you cannot make judgments about “ought” statements from any agreed set of “is” statement either, hence you cannot talk about religion from science except to say you can describe some of the phenomena of religion, which is of limited value. Thats another way of saying you cannot incorporate the religion game inside the science game. Philosophy is the game of navigating the invisible space between is and ought statements, and is thus largely a confused mess of incoherent questions as Wittgenstein suggests in the Tractatus.
But I think that doesn’t hold true for the infinite game. Within the infinite game, Game B in Jamie Wheal’s terms, it is possible to contain religion, science and philosophy, by defining the word “Game” as:
A goal or set of goals which are:
- hard to achieve, require personal sacrifice
- hard to fake, or easy to verify
- Universal, or includes everyone, as in cannot exclude anyone for reasons unrelated to the goal(s)
- Require no third-party, as in no special treatment for any players due to the interests of referees
A little more succinctly:
A game is a goal or set of goals which are:
- difficult to achieve
- easy to verify
A game is “bad” if it is fragile, which means it is unstable, as in tending towards disorder, to the extent that it fail to meet one or more of the vectors above. Sometimes those vectors are in conflict, so there is a trade off required, and a balance, but if a game meets those requirements to a robust degree it is closer to a perfect sustainable game. A perfect game may be impossible, and require infinite maintenance.
All games decay with the entropic force of human weakness (the Fall), and the change in the environmental conditions within which they are embedded. Games have to be maintained and updated periodically.
The infinite game, or game B, is thus the game of creating better games.
I can give lots of examples if anyone is interested in discussing this.
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