Notes on Books : Finite and Infinite Games

… by James Carse

finite game (noun) :

Rule 1 : A finite game is one of at least two players; each plays freely but the eligibility of each to play is determined by others.

Rule 2 : The start, end, location and membership of a finite game are all precisely defined by the players with reference to an external element (e.g. world time).

Rule 3 : A finite game has rules of play, agreed to and used by all players, that restrain the complete freedom of players. These rules remain the same through the course of play.

Rule 4 : The purpose of a finite game is to win; and the end sees winners, losers and those in between.

infinite game (noun) :

Rule 1 : An infinite game is one of at least two players; all who play, play freely and all who play

Rule 2: The start, end, location and membership of an infinite game do not matter and are defined by the individual player.

Rule 3: An infinite game has rules of play; the purpose of theses rules is to ensure that the game continues. Rules can change through the course of play so that limitations that may threaten the game are included in the game.

Rule 4: The purpose of an infinite game is to prevent it from coming to an end.



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