The Spirit of the Game


There is nothing quite like The Spirit of the Game – it defies categories. The book offers a unique personal history of the world, integrating the variety of human endeavor into a coherent world-view. It covers mathematics, philosophy, science, business and economics, politics, linguistics, and art as well as the ultimate questions of value – human creativity in all its forms.

The book presents a penetrating critique of Western culture, warts and all, but the author steers clear of fashionable doomsday scenarios. Instead he foresees a major discontinuity – a new hypercycle – which will amount to an unprecedented challenge for mankind. Never have the threats and the opportunities been so great.

Throughout, the narrative is sustained by the game metaphor. The world is perceived as a hierarchy of dynamic game processes ranging from the abstractions of mathematics to the co-operation and conflict within societies. In general, the value system – the “meta-rules” of the game – will decide the future of human communities – companies, countries or whole cultures. The ethical imperative is to take part in constructive plus-sum play, shunning vacuous zero-sum games. The core rule of fair play draws upon the elusive but all-pervasive spirit of the game.

The Spirit of the Game