Winning is Incompatible with Almost Everything

In his article, Winning is Incompatible with Almost Everything, game maven Yehuda writes:
The point is that designating one person as a "winner" is purely a form of virtual reward. In fact, it is a reward that is based on artificial scarcity. In order for winner to mean anything, there have to be losers.

In fact, even when there is fierce competition in games, there is no absolute need for this.
This is a remarkable, and much-needed contribution to our understanding of play and games, this distinction between the idea of the "winner" from the idea "achievement." Yehuda continues:
You can easily give out the label "winner" to all people who achieve any sort of success, without sullying the word. You still don't give it to people who haven't achieved anything; effort and achievement still count. Competition still counts. You just change the nature of "winner" from one that requires all others to fail to one that measures personal achievement regardless of the success of others.
There are powerful and clearly r/evolutionary consequences for those who follow Yehuda's redefinition of winning. The same thoughts that led me to writing The Well-Played Game almost 30 years ago. And Yehuda carries them forward with the kind of depth and insight that might very well inspire us, ultimately, to remove the artificial separation between winners and losers, cooperation and competition, and to view the field of play for what it is - an opportunity for us to exercise and celebrate our powers.

from Bernie DeKoven, funsmith

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