The Rules

I stumbled across an article, The Value of Psychotic Experience
by Alan Watts. In the article it is suggested that in the world of game playing a vast number of players don't actually know the rules of their own Game!

Initially i thought this was ludicrous. How can the people who are involved in a game all their lives not know its rules. Thinking a little deeper on the subject i came to the conclusion that people don't look into the game that they are playing. I believe this is for two reasons:

- firstly they do not know they are involved in a game at all.

-Secondly they are afraid of the unknown and look no further than the end of their noses.

Instead they just try their best to emulate those around them. Depending on the quality of the players around them, they will either do well or not at all.

An example taken from the article shows this using a doctor patient relationship in a mental institute:

One of the inmates took me aside--a very clean-cut all-American boy. And he had been put in there probably for smoking pot; I'm not absolutely sure in my memory what the offense was.

He said 'You know, I am very puzzled about this place. I really want to go straight and get out and get a job and live like an ordinary person.'He said 'I think they don't know how to go about it. I've just been refused release; I went up before the committee; I talked to them. But I don't know what the rules of the game are. And incidentally, the members of the committee don't either.'

So we have these situation, you see, of confusion. So that when a person goes into a mental hospital and feels first of all perhaps that he should try to sort himself out and talk reasonably with the physician. There is introduced into the communications system between them a fundamental element of fear and mistrust. Because I could talk to any individual if I were malicious and interpret every sane remark you make as something deeply sinister; that would simply exhibit my own paranoia. And the psychiatrist can very easily get paranoid, because the system he is asked to represent, officially is paranoid.

I talked with a psychiatrist in England just a few weeks ago...

... She said... 'I am employed by a society which feels that it ought to maintain a certain average kind of normal experience, and my job is to restore people to what society considers normal consciousness. I have no alternative but to leave it at that.'


So I find myself asking the question "How does one play against players who neither know the game or even that it is a game?" Winning surely wil be a random occurence at best against such a foe!

I feel that if one knows a game inside out then it can be seen that you will trash your opponent.

If you do not know the game however, the only way i can see to vanquish your opponent is not to play. Then while you opponent trys to figure out which game it is that you are playing, you can wait for him to trip himself up. You can also study him while you are not playing, learn from him and understand how he works.


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