Life is not a game.

The Prime Directive

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…

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