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Why is it so important to see life as a game, a real game, not just a metaphorical game?


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Helping people to create better lives through efficiency, effectiveness, precision, self-awareness, Eastern Wisdom and game-based strategies



Q. Why is it so important to see life as a game, a real game, not just a metaphorical game?

 A. Many people just can’t seem to wrap their heads around the concept of game-based thinking no matter how simple you make it. Often in the past when I described game thinking and game theory to people I got blank stares or responses of “Huh?” “What?” and “I don’t understand what you are talking about”.  Possibly the limitation was my inability to describe the concepts simply and understandably. Clearly, the fundamentals of game thinking made sense to me, even if it didn’t make much sense to most of the people I described it too.

Even those who enjoyed watching the television show Numb3rs or game-based crime dramas or the fellow who just broke virtually every record on Jeopardy often had or have little interest in game thinking though it was the center of every show’s storyline. They liked the crime stories yet the type of thinking that seemed to solve the crimes was of less importance to them. They like watching him win all that money but cannot see how his strategy for doing that is related to the choices they make in their own lives.

This lack of interest never made sense to me since many of these same people enjoyed chess, football, boxing, and other competitive sports – and one of the first things we do as children are learning to play sports and games. It could be said that many of us love to play but aren’t concerned with the elements of “play”.

There are many theories about why play and games are so central to human development. Most social scientists believe that games are a universal part of human experience and are present in all cultures.

For a very young child games become a tool for learning how to function in the world. As we develop physically, mentally, and emotionally, it is the skills we gain from gameplay that enable us to create a functional reality. Over time we learn to develop goals, understand rules, challenges, interaction, ethics, cheating, fair play and strategizing.

In order to survive in the world, we must make sense of it all. There are few absolutes known of how this comes about. It seems that humans are “hard-wired” for certain things such as crawling, walking the development of language, and game playing. These become part of who we are at a very early age. Other elements such as competition, hierarchal behavior, reciprocal altruism, and faith develop later though many experts believe we are hard-wired for these as well.

Two things that seem pretty obvious in our lives are that from the very beginning we need help at:

  1. surviving
  2. prospering


There is little we can do to survive and prosper without the support and guidance of others. In fact, as children, we know very few of the ground rules for social behavior without being taught. One of the first things we learn to do in life is to distinguish between leaving our toys lying around and putting them where they belong in an orderly fashion.

In time we developed basic social relationships with others. We learned there are ground rules for what is and is not acceptable, and that there are also consequences for violating the codes that define these. In other words, we learned pretty early “how to play in the sandbox” by listening, seeing and speaking …and soon learned how to play games with rules, costs and benefits.


For those seeking to be more effective, efficient, precise, productive, and self-aware through game-based thinking, and Harrison’s Applied Game Theory (HAGT)  I offer coaching, mentoring, online courses,  and private seminars on the subject.

I also write about different types of knowledge in my book “Harrison’s Applied Game Theory: How to Solve Any Problem Effortlessly”.





For a more in depth exploration of these ideas and to financially support my not-for profit work through “Ask Lewis” at the International Association of Healing Professionals just click on the donate button at the top of the page.



Lewis Harrison is a practical philosopher, mentor, and peak performance coach.


He teaches workshops and seminars on Eastern Wisdom, Zen and Taoist Thought, Applied Game Theory, and Personal Growth and is the senior guide at Lewis Harrison’s Transmodern Shaman Academy


To learn about how to sponsor a seminar with Lewis email him at LewisCoaches@gmail.com


These informational and entertaining postings will help you to be more effective, efficient, productive, and self-aware, consider learning game-based thinking and life strategies through Harrison’s Applied Game Theory (HAGT).


Also, please “Like” my fan page on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AskLewis


Learn to free your inner visionary through game-based thinking and gamification through my book



Learn how to win at the game of life through my new book “How to Hack Your Life through Game Thinking”




If you have an interest in having a basic understanding of Applied Game Theory (and you need to) here is an interview I did with James Selman, a pioneer and innovator in Leadership research.


Just click below to watch the entire interview.


Listen here as Lewis explain the RealUGuru Project and how we can give up unnecessary struggle through visionary thinking in this insightful interview with award winning journalist Phyllis Haynes about the RealUGuru Project



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