Life is not a game.

Life in human societies is full of games, but life itself is not a game. Ian Welsh discusses the concept of games within life, and life itself (I’ve written about open and close games here).

If you’ve played it, think SimCity – the city simulator. There are no win conditions. If you want to create a huge slum filled metropolis, great. A small utopian community with great public transit? Great. SimCity has no rules, it only has world simulation physics. These physics don’t match the real world, they are an approximation and a theory, and they limit how you play, but they don’t make SimCity a game: it’s a toy, you decide what sort of city you want. You can create your own win situation “when I create a city of 5 millions with an average income of over 50K”, but that’s not imposed by the program. With a ball you can decide you “win” when you can reliably make free shots four times out of five. But ultimately win conditions in a toy are arbitrary: a matter of personal choice.

Who wins life? If you die with the most power or money, did you win? If you did the most good, do you win? If you enjoyed yourself the most? Made great art? Raised great kids? Went fishing as often as you wanted?

One thought on “Life is not a game.

  1. The Laughable Cheese January 4, 2017 at 21:05

    Reblogged this on Welcome to Writers Town.

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