Infinite Games Are Open-Ended and Played Mainly to Keep Playing

"Finite and infinite games" describe the distinctions between situations in which there are contained, clear rules, players and limited outcomes (finite games) and those without any of those aspects. The concept comes from James P. Carse's Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility (1986). Carse observes that finite games are played only to win; infinite games are played in order to keep playing.

Simon Sinek adopts this concept in his argument in The Infinite Game that organizations should adopt longer-term perspectives.

Situations of radical uncertainty are often "infinite games"; these also seem to align with "wicked domains."


Related

Citations

Carse, James. Finite and Infinite Games. Free Press, 2013.

Sinek, Simon. The Infinite Game. New York: Portfolio, 2019.


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