Game A, Game B
As a kid, I quite liked games. Card games. Board games. I liked competitions. Track meets. Baseball tournaments. I now realize a bit more of what it was for my parents to support a weekend of marathon seven-inning baseball games, sometimes five or six over three days. It took endurance for them. Driving. Revising schedules. Packing lunches. I loved submersing myself in it. I loved wearing my red and white uniform that got quite stained through the games from a slide here and there. I loved advancing to play another game. The more the better. It was just fun for me.
I’ve been hearing this language of Game A, Game B quite a bit lately. And also using it. I’ve heard it mostly in conversations with a close friend and colleague, who’s really good at making sense of the broader patterns of this human living. I appreciate the distinction. And even though it sounds reductively binary, it’s helpful to have language for broad level era shifts. The agricultural era is different from the industrial era. Just as industrial is different from informational. Just as the Jurassic Period is different from the Cretaceous Period.
I think we as humans are living in a broad level era shift. Maybe I hope that we are.
The short of it with Game A is that it’s competitive. It’s get what you can. It’s win at all costs. It’s exert power at the expense of another. It can be rather ruthless. It has an implied, legitimized manipulation. Game A is really common. It’s embedded in most of us somewhere down in the subconscious. But real. It’s also embedded in many societal orientations, and not too hidden. It’s blatant, “get yourself the biggest piece of the pie.”
The short of it with Game B is that it’s cooperative. Or something in that direction. It has a kindness to it. It’s contribute to the broader good, including the idea that there might be less for you. It’s going together. It’s radical honesty to work from need rather than want. I would suggest it’s a way of being that trusts in a wholeness. Game B is also embedded in us, I would suggest. It’s just legitimized in fewer places. It’s more common in some families. Or in close friendships. Rather than get more pie, it’s “I have pie, but I’ll share it with you.” Or, “I have pie, but if you need it, I can go without it. Do you need it?” It’s also not being afraid to ask for help, “Might I have some of that pie, I really need it right now.”
Game B moves us to a different era of consciousness. And the distinction, binary as it sounds, I find is useful to create awareness, to interrupt pattern, and to open to some evolving new.
We might get a bit dirty in the change. I suppose that is natural. Just like it is to get dirty playing with friends in a weekend of baseball fun.