the wisdom of sages

GAME. I have to admit to pleasure in certain kinds of games. Games that involve chance and mathematics, numbers or images, sets of things, though any calculating I do is intuitive rather than numeric, based on observation and risk — dependant on my mood at the time. This love of Poker, Pontoon (also called Twenty One) and Five Hundred around Nana's kitchen table has not translated into a passion for screen games. Leibniz — who invented some kind of calculating machine (I can't say 'first', or of what kind because I'm not sure how that would figure alongside say, the abacus) — suggested "'a comprehensive study of games, dealt with mathematically'; first 'all the games which rely on numbers'; next, 'the games which also involve position, such as backgammon, checkers and especially chess'; and after them ' the games which involve motion, such as billiards and tennis'."[1]



Given Leibniz's categories for games, I can see that the games that fail to interest me are the games of motion and position (time and space). Added to position and motion is narrative — and if narrative be the stuff of identity, character and plot — I haven't seen/felt one yet that sutured me in or stitched me up.

[1] [1] Peter Remnant and Jonathon Bennett, ed. and trans., Leibniz: New Essays on Human Understanding (Cambridge: Cambridge U. P. 1996): n. lxiv

Audio sampled from "Mr Mentality Show" a video made by Gregory Ulmer and the Critical Art Ensemble and presented at "Internet Heuretics" Keynote Address, Incubation Conference hosted by trAce International Writing Community. Nottingham-Trent University, England, July 2000.: http://trace.ntu.ac.uk/incubation/archive/2000/audio/ulmer.mp3
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