Wednesday, May 04, 2005


What really sometimes scares me is that I could spend life doing nothing but playing games. I realize that the only reason I want to play the games is to establish relationships with other people, but this does not really end my desire of playing them. Of course, that’s all life is to many people, a series of different games: mimic what the teacher says, gain the approval of a group of people, etc.

But now, I see the foolishness in this. When a relationship is based on a game, it misses the point. Games are something that we can learn from and enjoy together. But the instant you start to play a game of any kind for the purpose of developing a relationship with someone else, you are necessarily imposing an expectation on them. This completely turns the purpose of games upside down. The presence of an expectation necessarily excludes the ability to learn from a game. All of sudden the game becomes about meeting the expectation rather than learning something about life. Relationships should never be built upon expectations, but rather a mutual trust and desire for understanding. This is the type of relationship we all truly desire.


  1. I certainly agree that relationships should not be built upon expectations or games. Yet I think that you are too harsh on games themselves. Sure, it's not healthy to play them all the time, but they can be good ways to simply relax or escape from reality if played moderately.

  2. Yeah, I'll cover that in my next post. You see I've come to think that EVERYTHING we do is motivated by a some relationship. I think the desire for relationships is our most fundamental desire and all other desires can be simplified into terms of a desire for a relationship. For example, one could say that the survival instinct, which includes desires such as hunger and thirst, grows out of our need for our attempt to maintain a good relationship between our mind and body. Furthermore, I believe many everyday behaviors that we usually don't even think about such as watching TV or rooting for a sports team are often really instances of us establishing interests through which we can relate to other people who have the same interest. I'm not saying this is always the reason for our actions (such as the occcasions that we are learning from a game), but only that this is the reason for our actions far more often than most people think.

    I know what you mean that games can help you "relax or escape from reality," but I'm trying to get past that. I don't want to escape from reality and what does it mean to relax? Yeah we can't do physically exhausting activity all the time, but you could call a lot of things "relaxing" and it doesn't necessarily make them good things to do.

    Anyway, I'll say more about this and try to make it more clear in my next post.

  3. what about those who choose to live hermetic lifestyles to varying degrees? they don't seem to desire interpersonal relationships too much, although the point about mind-body relationships is a good and valid one on a side note.

    haha and man, there you go again talking about "good" and "not good" (bad). you don't have to always define and or judge actions using such terms. they are ambiguous. good for who? and in what terms? and if something is relaxing for someone, then i don't see why it is not good for them as well.

  4. First off I would say that "good" is what is most fundamental to being human. My point was that when we say "I'm doing this because I need to relax" I think we are usually just trying to justify our action. Why do we need to relax in the first place? What about "relaxing" is fundamental to our humanity?

    As for someone who lives completely isolated from other people, I'm not sure he is really experiencing humanity either. I believe our humanity lies in our relationships. Definitely I think it can help to spend time alone sometimes and contemplate things. Otherwise it's too easy to get caught up in relationships based on trivialities like I talked about in my post. But just like Plato's philosopher, after seeing the light of truth, all that's left for us is to return to the cave in order to help others. Because if we lose those relationships based on mutual trust and a desire for understanding, it seems to me that we have also lost our humanity.

  5. P.S. I really like the dialogue we have going here. Discussing the points within a post really helps me to flesh out good examples of what I'm talking about.

  6. hmm..thinking on myself, i tend to be more of a loner than an extrovert. yet i believe that i would certainly go crazy if i did not have friends to hang out with. although while i believe this to be the case with most, i do think that there are those who are perfectly content to live completely alone, albeit a very few. so i would agree that humanity is based on "good relationship" (as defined previously) for the most part.

    "trying to justify actions" is very incorrect diction. it may be true a bit but not generally in my opinion. people usually need/want to relax because their lives are so messed up. stress, busy, etc. thus, in order maintain any kind of sanity and quality of life, relaxtion is necessary in their humanity. this is the majority case. for those who have attained and maintain a level of inner peace, "relaxation" is simply any activity that emulates that inner peace is an activity of relaxation.

    p.s. there are always a few who are the exception

  7. But you can't get that "mutual trust and desire for understanding" without some sort of starting place. That's the beauty of games. For example, I've used Frisbee to meet all kinds of incredible people. And once I've met them through Frisbee then I've been able to walk up to them and just chat about whatever. But I would never have reached the relationship that I currently enjoy with them without that starting place of a game.

  8. Very true. When you approach a game the right way, your right, it can be something very good. But you wouldn't say that those relationships are really "based on" frisbee, would you? When I talked about relationships based on a game, I guess I meant that your acceptance of someone depends on them meeting certain expectations that you have. And I believe that when we are playing a game because we say "we need to relax," we are motivated by exactly such a relationship that depends on the meeting of expectations.

    (I will try to convince you of this in my next post, but right now I have an exam in 12 hours that I haven't started preparing for yet, so, sorry, you'll have to wait about week I guess.)