UKC

/ Finite and Infinite games

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springfall2008 - on 08 Jun 2018

I listened to an interesting podcast on the difference between finite and infinite games. A finite game is one that has a defined ending, with a specific outcome (usually winning or losing) while the point of an infinite game is just to keep playing as long as possible.

So a football game is a finite game, with a time limit and a winner/loser (or draw).

While the game of football is an infinite game, that is teams play every year and it never stops.

So, here's a question do you climb as a finite game, that is I must onsight climb X to win and if I don't I lose?

Or do you climb as an infinite game, that is to enjoy climbing and stay alive so you can climb another day?

Or perhaps both, like football?

 

 

2
Rampikino - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to springfall2008:

Was this podcast along the lines of "know the game you are in"?

springfall2008 - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

https://www.stufftoblowyourmind.com/podcasts/finite-and-infinite-games.htm

In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the 1986 philosophy book “Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility” by American scholar James P. Carse.

Flinticus - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to springfall2008:

For me its a finite game in that it will stop once I become physically unable to do it. 

springfall2008 - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Flinticus:

> For me its a finite game in that it will stop once I become physically unable to do it. 


All games are finite in the end, but the point is an infinite game the goal is to play as long as possible and you "lose" when you can't play anymore. In a finite game the goal is to win and then it stops (clearly you can play again of course).

teh_mark on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to springfall2008:

On that basis, infinite for sure. I climb because I enjoy it and because I enjoy being in the moutains, not because I want to climb the hardest I can and give up. In fact, I can't see many people falling into that category (Simon McCartney maybe?)

Post edited at 16:04
Gordon Stainforth - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to springfall2008:

For each individual climber, climbing is not infinite because one ages and dies. Best to live for the moment (climbing is par excellence an activity lived in the moment) and play the finite game each time one sets out on a climb.

Hardonicus - on 08 Jun 2018
springfall2008 - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> For each individual climber, climbing is not infinite because one ages and dies. Best to live for the moment (climbing is par excellence an activity lived in the moment) and play the finite game each time one sets out on a climb.


Your saying playing as an infinite game, that is you climb for climbings sake not to win something?

Gordon Stainforth - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to springfall2008:

'The game' surely is getting up/attempting to get up each route, surely? It's only 'winning' in that very weak sense, and sometimes one 'loses'/fails. Of course one climbs for the joy of the actual climbing, the sensation of it, etc, but it would be a very unsatisfactory business if one failed to top out on most routes.

springfall2008 - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> 'The game' surely is getting up/attempting to get up each route, surely? It's only 'winning' in that very weak sense, and sometimes one 'loses'/fails. Of course one climbs for the joy of the actual climbing, the sensation of it, etc, but it would be a very unsatisfactory business if one failed to top out on most routes.


Well yes, I tend to treat "winning" each game as getting to the top without getting hurt. Clearly it's better if you get to the top without any falls or rests too.

However the longer infinite game for me is to keep climbing so I'd prefer to DOG or DNF and live to climb another day.

Some people on UKC say that a dogged ascent is also losing and the same as not even starting the climb, but I don't agree!

 

Gordon Stainforth - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to springfall2008:

IMHO, dogging is one of the least satisfactory kinds of climbing there is. I'd rather not climb that do that. Anyway, I no longer climb for precisely the reason that age has got the better of me with my eyesight (macular pucker problem) and can't judge foot placements accurately enough in 3-D. 

springfall2008 - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> IMHO, dogging is one of the least satisfactory kinds of climbing there is. I'd rather not climb that do that. Anyway, I no longer climb for precisely the reason that age has got the better of me with my eyesight (macular pucker problem) and can't judge foot placements accurately enough in 3-D. 

Of course it's personal, but I'd prefer to have a go at something harder than my grade and top out having dogged the route rather than never tried at all. For example I enjoyed Heady Days (6b+) but I would never have it clean on a first attempt.

 


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