The Ethicist and the Gamer Part II   4 comments

And when you thought a story was just a story

And when you thought a story was just a story

Welcome to the adventure! Last week there was:

“…culture arises in the form of play, that it is played from the very beginning…”

That brings another needed task, breaking down the story of Tiku and the One and the Other-One.  This created myth is an amalgam of older myths, but with a twist-a modern element thrown in.  Let’s break it down.

In the pristine, pure beginning we had two people who cared for each other and loved each other regardless of differences.  Then a third character comes in and introduces doubt into the world.  Rather than choosing to ignore the bird and it’s offer, the man thinks they could have more happiness or could be missing something.  This is not necessarily a negative thought, but what is the crux of the story is why this bird out of the blue is offering the Ultimate Life to them.

We find out later that the bird is doing so, because someone did it to them, so of course others must suffer.  But why must others suffer?

In a modern twist (to be discussed in Part III), the man and woman must suffer because of course the Tiku bird must have a reason to rationalize it’s pain and dislike of others.  The rule is:

“If I have suffered, you must suffer too.”

Sound familiar?  Or in the Judeo Christian concept, it is a takeoff of the orignal sin, so the rule is: 

“One person made a mistake, so all must suffer for it”

A Buddhist might think:

“Life is hard, so we must learn to let go of our ego and detach from the suffering, but it is unavoidable”

And we could go on,  the important thing to remember is that these rules evolved from stories, or at least the stories were created to understand the rules.

The hidden rule in this story is that when one person suffers and chooses not to let go of that suffering, then others must suffer to make them feel justified, guilty or not.   The other rule that rose from that rule is that all men for ever and ever will in some way be a slave to women.  Of course in our world the opposite occurred.

Rules, you say?  But these are great epic stories, some the foundation of our religions and societies.  And to that, I say:  “EXACTLY!”

Read the first quote at the beginning of part II.

It is true that some stories have atonement, giving the ability for persons in the story to redeem themselves in someway.   That is another rule. Atonement, by the way, is actually meant as “At onement”. To be at one with Christ’s suffering and to be redeemed.  That’s as close to a religious discussion as we will have here.  Remember we’re looking at the construct of games, society, relationship and rules.

Does society have rules?  Yes and there are hidden as well as unhidden rules.  Rules change according to the culture, but most rules find commonality.  The most common is:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

In game theory this is called the Ethic of Reciprocity.  You have the right to just treatment and you must ensure justice for others.  It is the basic element of all human rights.

Confucianism states:

“Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself”


“Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you”

and so forth.

Watch how children play, or adults, or if you want to really observe another culture, watch dogs play.  A dog will go into a butt-up/head down play position to attract another companion to play.  If the invitation is not accepted they will perhaps try with a bump to the other dog, and that may work, or the other dog will just saunter off.  If one dog unjustly attacks another dog, that dog will not be played with.

Listen to how children construct their play or remember your friends behavior from playing Monopoly.  What are the rules? How do humans behave?

Next week, a focus on rules and stories.

To be continued . . .

Thank you.


4 responses to “The Ethicist and the Gamer Part II

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  1. A. After reading “Myth of Male Power” I would disagree totally the comment. “Of course in our world the opposite occurred.”

    B. Rules re. “Do unto others…” is too often used without the rest of the biblical passage which then misses the point.
    One can, if one is alcoholic, one might want others to be a drunk also, as they would do to you.

    C. Politicians apparently have rules; tell lies, stretch the truth, tell different people different story.

    Perhaps games are more honest…like religious rules…the rules are set, except those playing, don’t always follow them.

    • Thank you for your critique, especially about the context of the Biblical passage, though I really not trying to get into religion here.

      I think you’re right, men are just as enslaved, but in a different manner…

  2. INTERESTING………………………..the idea of using the very popular “game” idea to provoke thought and possitive behavior rather than counting how many kills and destructions a player can tally. Good Luck with your plan!

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