Transcending the Game

Giving our full effort is, in effect fulfilling our potential. By testing our limits we ever increase the possibility of going further and further. It is in our nature to explore via play.
Remember that in all games, the rules are made to be broken – we forget this. The rules are established so we may ultimately be free of them and establish new ones. Rules set a limit to test us, to see how far we can go. Our strength
[and focus] carries us so far and then, [if or when] we reach that limit, we must instantly create the next set of rules to go further. [Rules plus effort are the engine of the game. The goal to transcend them and intuitively find new rules represents growth. From it we discover new things in all areas about ourselves and our universe.] Unfortunately, in our society we create this demand [for growth through competition and exaggerate its role in the game.] We sicken in our society through competition. Yet demand is essential. We are always extending the rules in the games. [Transcending the rules means revolution.] We must break the rules in order to transform. Any transformation is a revolution.  – from the notes of Viola Spolin with additions by yours truly.

The Kindergarten of Eden

Question: Does competition distort pure effort? Or What ever happened to the Olympic ideal?

Competing is integral to many games. Pitting one team or one individual against another to achieve a goal creates many of our most beloved games. I.e., baseball, tennis, football, etc. and we, as audience glorify the players. We reward them with money, adulation and status. But glory seeking has within it, the seeds of corruption. What we strive for is that ideal of achieving a win for the sake of the effort it demanded of us rather than letting that achievement reflect who we are. It is natural to revel in achievement and it is indeed a good feeling, I grant you – but beware! The ego finds glory the ultimate reward and can pervert that effort into making winning the be-all and end-all and will, in effect put a stop to transcendence and seek to repeat the glory experience.
“The head wants to think it’s in control, but it is only a secondary organ.” – Joseph Campbell.
By | 2017-08-13T21:37:55+00:00 February 19th, 2015|Categories: Creativity, games, Theory|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Transcending the Game

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About the Author:

Gary’s 18-year association with world-renowned theater educator and author, Viola Spolin provides the foundation for his work today. He is the only master teacher to have ever earned an endorsement from both Viola Spolin and her son, the legendary original director of Second City, Paul Sills. Gary resides in North Bend WA. He is founder of The Valley Center Stage, North Bend’s Community Theater and teaches theater games locally and around the world.

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