Finite and Infinite Games

30 Oct 2021 02:15 - 25 Nov 2023 05:50
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    • Mass Market Paperback Finite and Infinite Games Book
    • Finite and Infinite Games is a little book by James Carse that has a bit of a cult following. Well-deserved in my opinion!
    • It has a certain family resemblance to Martin Buber's I and Thou. Like Buber, he has a very sharply-drawn dichotomy between two radically different modes of being. In Buber, the two modes are modes of relating, distinct attitudes between the self and the world – one rather mundane, the other obviously special and superior, although not usually readily available.
    • Carse's dichotomy is similarly valenced. Finite games are kind of ordinary, necessary, and perfectly fine but sort of missing the real point of existence, whereas infinite games transcend mundane social rules in favor of something greater.
    • Carse died recently, but shortly before I was lucky enough to attend a Zoom meeting with him, set up by some of his superfans in the Ribbonfarm community. I got to ask him if there was a Martin Buber connection and he acknowledged the influence.
    • Infinite players are not serious actors in any story, but the joyful poets of a story that continues to originate what they cannot finish.
      • – part 100