Over the weekend Lolita and I engaged in an operation of Play Magic, the ‘Blue’ magic of my ‘Cybermorphic Kaosphere System’, derived from the ‘Wealth magic’ of Pete Carroll’s ‘Eight Colours’ system. This involved a game of ‘Monopoly’ in our temple space. We abandoned the game after a certain point. For one of us the game had become impossible to win. This was noticed subconsciously by that player and for them the game stopped being fun. The other player however, whilst they felt slightly ahead, felt the game far from won at this point, especially since the losing player actually owned the five most expensive properties on the board. It seemed to them that luck could favour either player. This difference in perception resulted in a disconnect and a small argument. This argument in turn lead to an illumination for us both.
Young animals play, and through play learn about their world. They learn about ways of thinking, moving and acting that they can later use in their adult lives to help them survive. Some animals, including humans continue to play and learn in this way throughout their lives. I suspect that as a result of this we learn best when we play, and this probably has implications for education. However it also has social implications for the way we play, and the way the games we play condition us.
When we play a competitive game, like monopoly, where we expect one player to ‘win’ and the others to ‘lose’ we get taught to accept ‘losing’ some times. We become conditioned to think of those that don’t like losing as ‘sore losers’. But why should we like losing? It seems to me that this forms early authoritarian conditioning for accepting that the world must have winners and losers. Further it conditions us to think of losers who complain about their lot as ‘sore losers’, and even to blame them for ‘not playing the game’.
Seeing through this can help us remove such conditioning, but perhaps also, if we wish to see a more cooperative and less authoritarian world, we need to build cooperative and less authoritarian games, or adapt existing games towards more cooperative objectives. We have already developed some ideas towards the latter…