Finite & Infinite Games is a book written by James P. Carse in 1986. In this video, we discuss some of the key ideas from the first chapter of the book. If you would rather not watch Viktor talking in his living room, feel free to read the summary below instead:
“There are at least two kinds of games: finite and infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”
Surprise is what ends the infinite game as it enables one player to defeat the other(s). In the infinite game, surprise is what keeps the game going and makes it enjoyable for everyone involved.
“To be playful is not to be trivial or frivolous, or to act as if nothing of consequence will happen. On the contrary, when we are playful… everything that happens is of consequence, for seriousness is a dread of the unpredictable outcome of open possibility. To be serious is to press for a specified conclusion. To be playful is to allow for unlimited possibility.”