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The Psychology of Games

“There is about world-class athletes carving out exemptions from physical laws a transcendent beauty that makes manifest God in man.” 

-David Foster Wallace, String Theory

 In 3000 BCE Mesopotamia people played a game called the Game of Twenty Squares.During the Roman Empire Epislyros, a type of handball, and knucklebones were popular. Chinese chess was played during the Tang Dynasty, and the game of polo was passed from Persia to the Byzantine Empire. For thousands of years and in every cultural context, humans have felt the need to invent and play games. Why are games so satisfying and important to people? What is their function? How do they influence social structures? When do games become unifying, productive, obsessive, dangerous? In this salon we will question the psychology and philosophy of sports and games, detaching ourselves from their observation or practice, and considering on a more abstract level both the beauty and absurdity of why humans choose to hit balls through nets or move stones across boards!

Please join The Public Sphere at Norn's townhouse for salon conversation in the company of new friends.

RSVP required: 


Image Attribution: Paul Cézanne [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Earlier Event: March 24
On Death
Later Event: April 28
On Eccentricity