Home  »  Library  »  Alex Randolph   »  1Brett & Board

A talk with Alex Randolph
... on gaming

What is gaming? For me there is a huge difference between the normal, the useful life and the everything else. For me everything else is gaming. Alex RandolphUnfortunately is there no word for it in German. In English have we Games and Toys, two very different things. In German are games [Spiele] classified as toys, which is utterly wrong. A toy is a gadget and a game is a scenario.
What I want to say with this is that gaming is the opposite of working. Work is something terrible. One should do as litle as this as possible. Culture is fully dependent on non-work (otherwise would it not be culture). Culture is leisure, culture is spare time, including literature, theater etc., a complete separation from the usual life. It is a process of stepping down. And what do you find there? You find life again, but another life where the order has been created by you, and which has a sense. It does not bring anything material with it. All playful forms, like philosophy or matemathics, have certain characteristics, they have order, they have rhythm.
We have an inner need to classify things. I will never forget when I realised this for the first time. I saw a very small, a really tiny child on the beach. The child was playing with stones, placing them in rows. Then I said to myself: That is a human! This is the beginning of mankind, this is the beginning of mathematics, the beginning of philosophy, of art, of all the aesthetics! The child showed me what it is to be a human.
If we fly over a jungle in a helicopter and then suddenly something which looks like a straight line or a circle, then we know man has been there. Especially when you see a square or a circle you know: Humans have played here! This is one of the characterics of the game: they are either lozenged or round. It is very difficult to make a game that doesn't have a human geometrical border. Within this border does the game take place, whether it be a tennis court or a chess board.
Introductionon the life in games

From Knut-Michael Wolf's interview in the special issue of Die Pöppel-Revue 1988
with kind permission from Friedhelm Merz Verlag and spielbox.de

© Mik Svellov 1997-2004editor@brettboard.dk03. maj 2004