Re[2]: Games, competition and FSI education.

From: Cliff Stabbert (
Date: Sun Feb 09 2003 - 19:44:40 MST

Sunday, February 9, 2003, 2:43:02 PM, Michael Roy Ames wrote:

MRA> I have answered that question postively, for the following reasons.

MRA> 1) A game can be competitive, or non-competitive. The degree of
MRA> competitivenes can be arbitrarily set in the design of the game.

MRA> 2) A game can be an analogy of reality, a model, within which:

MRA> a) a Seed AI can learn skills and techniques...
MRA> and can be *seen* to learn them (or not).

MRA> b) there are no negative real-world consequences
MRA> to success/non-success (winning/losing).

I think 2) is the most essential and productive definition of game, in
that they can provide a context for learning without *real* consequences.

Gregory Bateson, in talking about communication, offered the idea of
"play" as a precursor to abstract language. That is to say, dogs
snarling at each other playfully are indicating that they are _not_
doing what is indicated by the snarling -- which would be fighting.

The ability to speak of a hypothetical, the ability to use "not", lies
at the base of the ability to communicate abstractions. In that
context, play and games are invaluable.

[Tangentially related: James P. Carse on _Finite and Infinite Games_.
And Gregory Bateson in _Steps to an Ecology of Mind_ speculates that
animal awareness may have similarities to our dream consciousness: the
absence of tenses, the absence of "not" and "this is a simile" --
rather, everything is direct.]


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