And the game goes on


  1. the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organisation to another.

I’d like to stress that reciprocity is not feedback.*
(Ursula Franklin)

There’s a difference between the kind of feedback proffered in a finite game to that provided within an infinite game.

A finite game has a specific goal, is played by a designated number of players, and follows the rules.

In this way, James Carse states, it is dramatic, that is, scripted:

Finite play is dramatic. As soon as it is concluded we are able to look backward and see how the sequence of moves, though made freely by the competitors, could have resulted only in this outcome.**

In a game of football, the outcome is always going to be a win, a loss or a draw, it isn’t going to be a herd of cows. Yet, in an infinite game, who knows? This is played with as many people as possible for as long as possible and when the rules threaten participation or continuation, they are changed.

In this game, the kind of information taking place when we mess up, get things wrong and fail is reciprocal. It flows in all directions to ensure that everyone can play for as long as possible. The openness expressed in reciprocity means growth and development is maximised for all.

Okay, we know that we have to play finite games, but, we know, ultimately, we are players in an infinite game. Yes?

The sense of wonder can also help you to recognise and appreciate the mystery of your own life.^

(*From Ursula Franklin’s The Real World of Technology.)
(**From James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games.)
(^From John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes.)

One thought on “And the game goes on

  1. Pingback: Infinity and beyond | THIN|SILENCE

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