Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience. ~ Étienne de La Boétie
Benjamin Franklin, as quoted in Edge-Tools of Speech (1899) by Maturin Murray Ballou, p. 177.
All my games were political games; I was, like Joan of Arc, perpetually being burned at the stake.
Indira Gandhi, as quoted in The New York Times Biographical Service (1971), Vol. 2, p. 4027.
Strange game. The only winning move is not to play.
WarGames written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.
Michael Jordan, as quoted in The Victory Letters : Inspiration for the Human Race (2003), by Cheri Ruskus, Letter 32, p. 68.
I've missed more than nine thousand shots in my career. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
Michael Jordan, as quoted in Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins : The Paradox of Innovation (2003), by Richard Farson and Ralph Keyes, p. 32.
Do not imagine that there is any bird more easily caught by decoy, nor any fish sooner fixed on the hook by wormy bait, than are all these poor fools neatly tricked into servitude by the slightest feather passed, so to speak, before their mouths. Truly it is a marvelous thing that they let themselves be caught so quickly at the slightest tickling of their fancy. Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naïvely, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books.
The practices that led to the formation of the spontaneous order have much in common with rules observed in playing a game. To attempt to trace the origin of competition in play would lead us too far astray, but we can learn much from the masterly and revealing analysis of the role of play in the evolution of culture by the historian Johan Huizinga, whose work has been insufficiently appreciated by students of human order.
Consider Wittgenstein's paradigmatic question about defining "game." The problem is that there is no property common to all games, so that the most usual kinds of definition fail. Not every game has a ball, nor two competing teams; even, sometimes, there is no notion of "winning." In my view, the explanation is that a word like "game" points to a somewhat diffuse "system" of prototype frames, among which some frame-shifts are easy, but others involve more strain.
When I was about 10, I remember I campaigned for months to convince my parents that the 'Game Boy' was not in fact just for boys. Eventually I won the debate and got my first portable gaming device the following Christmas. So even though I’ve always been enthusiastic about games, I’ve also always been bothered and disappointed with the way women were represented much of the time.