2. 原则 1
3. 原则 2
4. 原则 3
5. 原则 4
6. 原则 5
Social Game Theory: The Game of Games
By Michael Urban
I. The Basics
We’re born, we play games, and then we die. From the childhood games of youth, to the global games of economic and armed warfare. All of these games have one thing in common, they’re all subject to the universal principles underlying all games. There are as many different types of Games as there are people. So why do we play games? How are they formed? What are the minimum requirements for a fair Game? The focus of this book is on human beings and social games, but these principles apply throughout nature.
A game by any other name would still be a game. At times we even play Games without realizing it. Games always conform to these universal principles, even if the players aren’t all aware of it. They apply to all people, in all societies, at all times. These universal principles apply to any Game, whether it is formally recognized as a Gzame or not.
Games can be formed either intentionally or unintentionally (spontaneously). Spontaneously formed Games occur whenever people (Autonomous Entities) come in close contact (proximity) with each other. These Games are the automatic result of actions taken by people in their lifelong quest for survival in a finite world. Some Games are competitive, and some Games are collaborative, and yet they still conform to the same principles.
All living entities must consume (destroy) resources to stay alive. Whenever there is more than one entity in a world of finite resources (natural or man-made), Games spontaneously form because of the activities arising from the instinctive quest for survival and self-gain. In a world of infinite resources, Games might never even exist. In reality, we live in a world of finite resources so Games are an unavoidable part of life.
In the real world, Games can form spontaneously, and will assume default principles. Spontaneously formed Games will incur the same default characteristics, unless players take action to legitimize the Game, The defaults are:
1. Occurs in an Arena
2. Players take actions to survive
3. The default Rules of nature apply
Games default to the Rules (Laws) of nature in the absence of specified alternative Rules. As an example, “survival of the fittest”, is one of the most common. If the most powerful Actor resorts to using force, they will defeat all competitors and take control of the Arena. All Games default to these Rules (natural law) unless some other Rules that take precedence have been established. Default Rules will be explored in more detail in the chapters that follow.
Games that are formed under the laws of nature are illegitimate games based on animal instincts. These Animal Games, are a part of our heritage. They form the most primitive set of Rules that animals act under. If we conform to the laws of nature will will never advance beyond the level of Animal Games. As humans, we have the ability to think (cognitive), which animals don’t have. We can utilize that skill to our advantage and create Games that are both individually, and collectively beneficial (optimum). If we don’t, we surrender the fate of our species to the same limitations of other animals. Legitimate Games require cognitive intent to advance society both individually and collectively.
In addition to spontaneously formed Games, there are intentionally (cognitively) formed Games that people create for specific purposes. A Game may be formed at any time, by any number of people. In all cases, the universal principles of Game play still apply. Games may also be formed as sub-games, or super-games, of other Games and the principles still apply.
There are two fundamentally different types of games, a fair (just, legitimate) game and an unfair (illegitimate) game. Any game that doesn’t comply with the principles of fair play is an illegitimate game. Spontaneously formed Games are rarely fair due to the nature of autonomy. Intentionally formed Games can also be unfair, but could be converted into legitimate Games by making the changes needed to comply with the five principles of fair Game play.
The five principles of fair (just, legitimate) Game play are:
1. A set of Rules clearly defines the terms and conditions of play.
2. Game activities take place within a designated Arena.
3. All Players know, consent to, and comply with the Rules.
4. Players Enter by consent only, and Exit is unlimited.
5. An independent Referee moderates and applies Rules.
Any game that doesn’t comply with all of these principles is an unfair and illegitimate social game. Each of these principles has significant implications, so its important to explore each of them in depth to ensure the meanings are clear. The following chapters provide common examples showing how these fair Game principles apply to everyday life and the simple solutions for correcting illegitimate Games. We can all benefit both individually and collectively as a society if mankind adopts these universal principles of fair Game play in all areas of social interaction (politics, religion, corporations, economics, jobs, etc.).
II. Principle 1
To be fair and legitimate, a Game must provide the means for all Players to achieve their goal of survival, both individually and collectively. If the Rules create unfair advantages for some individuals at the expense of other Players, the Game is illegitimate. By the same token, if the Rules create unfair advantages for the collective population at the expense of individual Players, the Game is also illegitimate. A fair and legitimate Game provides a balance between opportunities for individual gain and for collective gain within the Arena.
The basic concepts of Principle 1 are:
* The boundaries of the Arena, the resources of the Arena, the limits on Actors activities, and the consequences of activities are all determined by the Rule set of the Game.
* Unanimous consent to all Rules by all Actors is required for a Game to be legitimate.
* If Players are unaware of Rules that apply to them, the Game is illegitimate.
* If the Rules are ambiguous, or complex, the Game is illegitimate.
III. Principle 2
The basic concepts of Principle 2 are:
* All games take place within a bounded Arena.
* The boundary may be specific, or fuzzy, depending on the Game circumstances.
* A Game may vary over time and space, depending on the circumstances.
* The Actors in a Game negotiate the Arena Rules when the Game is formed.
IV. Principle 3
The basic concepts of Principle 3 are:
* Only an autonomous entity are legitimate Players in a Game.
* Autonomy is comprised of three components:
Power is the potential to affect the Arena. It is also comprised of three components:
Force is often referred to as “force of arms” or strength, but all forms of physical force are included.
Wealth is the storage of resources and includes capital, assets, money, and other forms of wealth.
Image in this case refers to public Image. This form of power is based upon perceptions of others in the Arena and in the general public.
Control is the efficient and effective application of Power, and the skill of an entity in applying power.
Control is most efficient when centrally coordinated in a unified manner.
Freedom refers to the unlimited spectrum of action options available to an Entity in the pursuit of self-gain.
The concept of “autonomy” is central to the principles of fair game play, and so we must be very specific in its definition. If People were the only autonomous entities in the world then life would be much simpler, but they’re not. The other type of autonomous entities that share the same Arena with us are known as “organizations”. Organizations are simply a specific category of Games. Organizations that comply with the principles of fair play are legitimate Games. The vast majority of organizations throughout history have not conformed to fair Game principles, and are therefore illegitimate.
So why do most organizations fail the fair play test, which constitutes an illegitimate Game? If we apply the fair Game principles one at a time and evaluate the power structure, decision-making, and legal form of an organization it will become apparent that there are many ways in which organizations are internally and externally illegitimate Players.
Like all self-directed entities, organizations are motivated for survival through any means available. As entities, the biggest difference between people and organizations is based upon their intrinsic attributes. People can have the following distinct attributes:
No organization intrinsically possesses these attributes, even though some members (players) do. Some organizations will claim they do, but only as a tool for their own survival. Strangely enough, an organization is automatically considered a “person” under the laws of many countries. This is of course absurd, in light of the fundamental differences. Aside from that, these legal definitions don’t even address the autonomy of the entity, which is the primary test of a “person”.
The existing body of law pertaining to organizations is the result of reactive law making processes, not through any anticipatory process. As organizational issues arose throughout history, legal scholars simply adapted the laws pertaining to people. What we have today is an international body of law that treats organizations as if they are “persons”. It appears that this situation (legal fiction) continues because of some factors that prevent existing legal canons from being updated to provide properly segregated legal constructs.
So why are there so many organizations in the world if it’s true that they are mostly illegitimate Games? The explanation becomes apparent when viewed from the perspective of individual autonomy. Whenever a group of people decides collectively to form an organization, they must collaborate to do so. People will do this in order to achieve a net increase in their own autonomy. An organization is collaborative Game that provides a way (means) to multiply autonomy beyond the aggregate sum of the individual player’s autonomy. The organization then distributes some portion of the value of the increased autonomy to each of the players.
As an example, imagine that we can measure an individual’s autonomy level, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. If 9 people with an autonomy level of 10 collaborate to form an organization (Game) the total autonomy of the newly created entity (game-entity) might 150. In any case, the autonomy level would be greater than 90, which is the combined autonomy of the members. Therefore if the organization were to use its autonomy for self gain (net), and then distributed an autonomy level of 12 to each player, everyone benefits. Each player gets 2 more autonomy points than they would have been able to achieve if they acted alone. And although the organization distributes 2 additional autonomy points to each member beyond what they each contribute, it retains the remaining 42 autonomy points for use in furthering it’s own autonomy.
As a more specific example, imagine that the labor value of an individual in the above scenario is 40 hours per week. If the 9 people collaborate to form an organization, it might produce value equivalent to 500 labor hours. The organization could then distribute 45 hours per week of labor value in money to each member, and still retain the remaining 95 labor hours of value.
From these two examples it’s easy to see why organizations are so prevalent throughout history. An organization is simply a collaborative Game that results in more autonomy (net) for the individual members (players) that exceeds what they each could have achieved by working on their own. At the same time, it provides the means for a fabricated autonomous entity (game-entity) to achieve greater autonomy for itself. If successful in this activity, the game-entity can then continue to provide a source of autonomy for any 9 people in society that have an opportunity to play in that game.
So what makes most of these game-entities illegitimate? The primary cause is due to the fact that they aren’t really people at all, but rather Games formed by people. The fact that they are legally viewed as a “person”, creates a misleading picture. A Game is fundamentally different from a person in many ways (real and conceptually). A game-entity only possesses the autonomy it acquires from members (Players). Each member surrenders their autonomy to the organization, which then utilizes it to achieve it own self gains. Without the members, an organization has no autonomy of it’s own. And yet the members are also totally dependent upon the game-entity for their survival.
Based on the most common organizational Games, it’s clear that the power component of autonomy flows towards the center, but the control component flows outward from the center. This is why all organizations eventually evolve into hierarchical structures as they grow, with a single position at the top (center) and everyone else below (peripheral to) that focal point. A hierarchy looks like a tree with a single trunk, with branches growing out of it, and then even smaller branches growing out of those branches, and so on. Although it resembles a tree, it’s more accurate to view a hierarchy as a centralized structure, with branches propagating out from that center point. This is the center of control.
The reason that hierarchies form in this way is to efficiently aggregate power from the periphery to the center, and to allocate control from the center to the periphery. Many attempts have been made to create different game-entity structures, but in practice the hierarchy continues to emerge as the most efficient structure for collaborative Games. It provides the means to magnify power and coordinate control of large and complex Games.
There is one danger for people that arises from this situation. Its important to keep in mind that the social Arena of mankind includes both person-entities and game-entities, and so the two are often involved in competitive Games with each other. Since most game-entities have greater aggregate autonomy than most person-entities, organizations have a much greater chance of winning any competition, unless there are Rules to compensate for the difference (inequity). This same issue also applies to small (low level autonomy) game-entities that are in competition with large game-entities.
The distinct difference between person-entities and game-entities, and how it affects our everyday lives will be explored in more depth in the following chapters.
V. Principle 4
The basic concepts of Principle 4 are:
* Entities must be free to Exit a Game at any time, at their own self-discretion, without any limitations on their Exit.
* Removing Game resources from the Arena could be limited by the Game Rules, but the Entity’s freedom to leave a Game must not be limited.
* It’s illegitimate to force an Entity to participate in a Game through any means other than their own consent.
VI. Principle 5
The basic concepts of Principle 5 are:
* The component most commonly missing in illegitimate Games is a Referee.
* A Referee provides an impartial and competent perspective on Game activities.
* An independent Referee must not participate in the Game, and must not benefit, or lose, due to the outcome of Game activities.
I recently heard the saying that “Cheaters never win”. This is an absurd idea, because its apparent that Cheaters very often win, that’s the reason they do it. The only time a Cheater doesn’t win is when they’re caught, but that rarely happens in complex Games. In simple Games like casino games, Cheaters can be caught through simple means, but in the complex Games of human society it becomes extremely difficult.
There are many ways to cheat, but most of them are based on lying (fraud). Another common way to cheat is through the illegitimate use of power (force), but the most common way is by lying. Cheaters lie to gain an unfair advantage over others, while making appear that they don’t have an advantage. It would be useless for a fraud Cheater if anyone knew they had an unfair advantage. No one would play in a Game if they knew they were going to have an unavoidable disadvantage. All Cheats want their illegitimate advantage to be hidden.
All Cheaters generally use the same basic techniques:
* Circumvent the Rules
* Exploit holes in the Rule set
* Violate the spirit of the Rules
* Exploit flaws in the Rules
* Exploit illegitimate Rules
* Exploit illegitimate Games
* Disguise their identity
* Disguise their autonomy
Its clear from this list that the formation of a legitimate Game isn’t sufficient to ensure equality for all players. Cheaters will seek out ways to achieve self-gain from both legitimate and illegitimate Games.
The vast majority of Cheaters are males. This is due to the instinctive male desire to compete, win, and dominate. Females will also Cheat under some circumstances, but males are driven by a primitive desire for dominance. This can easily be seen in the relative numbers of male criminals compared to the number of female criminals. Throughout all history, cultures, and types of crimes, males break the laws of society (cheat) far more than females. Only through self-control are males able to overcome this instinctive drive.（Source：michaelurban3）