"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 single proposition, the opening line of 'Finite & Infinite Games' by James Carse, has had a prolific and monumental influence on my life.
The simple, subtle, and omnipotent distinction between finite and infinite games – and understanding when and where you are a finite or an infinite player – has radically transformed the way I view myself, life, and Reality at large.
Few books are able to facilitate complete paradigm shifts in individuals, only religious and spiritual texts come close. It is a rare and momentus occassion when you come across a story with the potential to oblierate existing mental models and outdated social conceptions in you, once and for all.
Fortunately, this is one of those books. It has been weaved into my very Way of Being, becoming bedrock foundation for the majority of my current work, and has brought levels of levity and play that was missing from my life.
With all of my book reviews/explorations, the only books I will cover are books that were so strong, so compelling, that I read them twice or more. Finite & Infinite Games passes that test of being a book so nice I read it twice.
If you are ready for a wandering journey through the forests of game theory and cultural architecture — let's begin.