Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility by James P. Carse Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility

An extraordinary book that will dramatically change the way you experience life.
Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life, the games we play in business and politics, in the bedroom and on the battlefied — games with winners and losers, a beginning and an end. Infinite games are more mysterious — and ultimately more rewarding. They are unscripted and unpred


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    Rob

    Sep 04, 2007

    rated it
    it was amazing

    Recommends it for:
    everyone

    amazing. amazing!

    one of those books that doesn’t really teach you anything, but page after page you want to shout, “yes!, that’s what i’ve always known, but i never had the words!”.

    hard to summarize, because it covers such a wide range, but the basic distinction is drawn between seeing life as a series of “finite games” and seeing existence as a single infinite game.

    finite players play their finite games with the goal of “winning”, which of course means that their goal is to actually BRING THE

    one of those books that doesn’t really teach you anything, but page after page you want to shout, “yes!, that’s what i’ve always known, but i never had the words!”.

    hard to summarize, because it covers such a wide range, but the basic distinction is drawn between seeing life as a series of “finite games” and seeing existence as a single infinite game.

    finite players play their finite games with the goal of “winning”, which of course means that their goal is to actually BRING THE GAME TO AN END. they actually enter into everything they do hoping to end it, i.e. to stop doing it. the rules of the game are very important to them and keeping score and giving a prize or title to the winner. war, sports, contests, competitions, grasping after social status, etc., are finite games. it is theatrical, with everyone playing not as themselves, but playing a predetermined role with strict guidelines.

    infinite players play with the goal of continuing the game. they do not approach boundaries as they move. the only limit is the horizon, which moves with them everywhere and can never be reached. it is dramatic, with surprises around every corner and constantly changing rules, with everyone just playing for the sake of continuing the game, to discover the possibilities.

    if this all sounds squishy and new-agey, all i can say is that it isn’t. he actually addresses very deep issues and brings up the titans of western thought, from plato to jesus to augustine to copernicus to nietzsche to heidegger to einstein to freud. good and evil, self and other, sex, machines and nature.
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    Wai Yip Tung

    Jun 06, 2012

    rated it
    did not like it

    “There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”

    This is the opening statement of Carse’s book. It introduces an intriguing concept of infinite game and gives us a new way to see things people do in this world. Unfortunately this is also the book’s climax. The charm wear off quickly.

    Carse went on to categorize many different things into finite or inf

    “There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”

    This is the opening statement of Carse’s book. It introduces an intriguing concept of infinite game and gives us a new way to see things people do in this world. Unfortunately this is also the book’s climax. The charm wear off quickly.

    Carse went on to categorize many different things into finite or infinite game. The problem is that this is simply dichotomy view by his arbitrary categorization. To give you some taste of the book, finite game and infinite game are separately described as dramatic or theatrical. Without telling you which is which can you make a sensible case of either? And here is another quote form the book “Such museums (referring to New York’s principal museums) are not designed to protect the art from people, but to protect the people from art.” Without providing you the context, I would just say the entire book is filled with assertions and judgments like this. “Something is or is not this” or “something does or does not cause that”. As I debate the merit of his assertions, the revelation comes. This is just his game with semantics. It will be futile to find meaning in his confusing world or distorted semantics.

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    Architeacher

    May 05, 2010

    rated it
    it was amazing

    I bought this book in 1986 and tried to read it, but without much success. It lay on a bookshelf for fifteen years until one sleepless night when I picked it up and thought to try again. I swallowed it whole that night and have come back again and again with excitement and expectation.

    There is a group of Christian businessmen who distribute copies of the New Testament at the entrance to the student union where I teach. Carse’s book is the one I would choose to purchase in bulk and hand to everyo

    There is a group of Christian businessmen who distribute copies of the New Testament at the entrance to the student union where I teach. Carse’s book is the one I would choose to purchase in bulk and hand to everyone who passed, hoping that it could be as transformative for them as it had and has been for me. I have, in fact, bought it in small numbers as a paperback and given it to close friends.
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