Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Game

Imagine a board game rather like chess, but with a vast number of interconnected boards. Not only that, but all the boards are different with different shapes, different numbers of squares, different pieces and different rules.

The squares aren’t all square either, but triangular, pentagonal, hexagonal and irregular. Not only that, but some pieces can move from board to board. Sometimes these inter-board pieces take their rules with them onto another board and sometimes they don’t. It depends on the piece and inter-board rules.

This is the Game where the consequences of any move, tactic or strategy are so complex that no human player has a hope of mastering all of its ramifications. Unfortunately there are other difficulties too.

Game Officials
Game officials control how the Game is played and oversee its development. Among many other duties, some of which are secret and most of which are mistakes, they add more boards, amend rules and invent new pieces.

Game Rules.
Some Game rules are also secret, known only to Game stars and certain Game officials. This is obviously a problem for ordinary players and a dwindling band of Game officials still trying to make an honest go of it.

Game Fees.
Some Game rules may be amended or suspended for a fee. There are many possibilities and many and varied are the fees applying. Fees may even depend on a player's personal appearance, parents or accent. Naturally the scale of fees is secret which may be a problem for ambitious players unable or unwilling to be bound by the fee structure.

Game Pundits
Game pundits provide a running commentary on the personal lives, tactics and strategies of Game stars. However Game officials do not allow Game pundits to use inside knowledge of secret rules and fees, so pundit commentary tends to be somewhat disingenuous. It is not a guide to the state of the Game, although often mistaken for exactly that. In fact there are no guides to the Game apart from low cunning.

Game Stars 
Game Stars are those players willing and able to afford the fees and with personal qualities (see reference to low cunning above) suited to the discovery of secret rules and the friendship of Game officials.

Even so, a large number of non-star players manage to master one board or even a few interlinked boards to play local versions of the Game with varying degrees of success. Professionalism flowers while Game pundits pick over the personal life of Game stars.

So we have a popular Game with a defined structure and partially defined rules, but only Game stars are able to play it in anything other than a limited and rather uncertain manner. Some admit these limitations and some don’t because that is human nature.

Wannabe stars must cheat, make up their own rules or take advantage of the secret rules and secret fee structure. There is of course a complex fee structure for cheating.

The Game is merely an analogy of course, but an analogy of what?


Demetrius said...

Shopping in supermarkets?

Sackerson said...

Every aspect of society?

Sam Vega said...

Not sure, AKH, but only a Magister Ludi would know as much about it as you appear to. Unless, of course, you are playing games with us...

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - surely not the dear old Co-op though?

Sackers - except chess!

Sam - ah but I may be a pundit, in which case my words are to be taken with a peck of salt.