Be an infinite community player

I stumbled upon this article this week — a sort of reflection and action statement to Finite and Infinite Games, and couldn't but help myself thing — how do you be an Infinite Community Player?

From the book, 'Finite and Infinite Games" we can see a few things — the author James Carse describes the two as the following:

"There are at least two kinds of games: finite and infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play. Finite games are those instrumental activities - from sports to politics to wars - in which the participants obey rules, recognize boundaries and announce winners and losers. The infinite game - there is only one - includes any authentic interaction, from touching to culture, that changes rules, plays with boundaries and exists solely for the purpose of continuing the game. A finite player seeks power; the infinite one displays self-sufficient strength. Finite games are theatrical, necessitating an audience; infinite ones are dramatic, involving participants..."

Which has me inspired in reflection of Sasha Chapin's recent Substack post of how to create and participate in infinite games to live a better life.

What Infinite Games should community builders play?

Make new friends, for the sake of new friends.

Talk to someone new, ask them questions, get to know them. Celebrate their victories and pour one out for their losses. Stay in touch and celebrate birthdays, holidays, and new years.

Find ways to play together.

Seriously — find ways to play! Be silly, have a laugh, try something new, play a game or just pretend. These little actions of play can build more authentic relationships.

Don't worry about the short game with those around you (or the long game either)

Think about what you'll do for years to come, and the laughs you will have — if you end up working with them, or sharing other experiences with them, great! But that shouldn't be a primary goal for connection.

Be honest, be vulnerable, be you

Tell the truth, even when it sucks. Be vulnerable, so that others may be vulnerable too. Be yourself, always.

What would you add to this list?

How can we build better communities?

We are on a quest to learn and explore what makes great communities.


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