Origin and Development of Games

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Pablo Edronkin

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There are three different kinds of environmental conditions in which games usually develop significantly, and all of them have a lot to do with desperation and the need to spend time trying to keep the mind busy while the body attempts to survive; the importance of understanding games within the framework of ledership should not be underestimated.

In prisons and jails, concentration camps, POW camps, gulags and so on, it is common that games appear, even in a clandestine way; some of these games are physical and quite violent, such as in the case of Australian football, while others are quite intellectual, especially when there is little room for exercise, sports or athletics, such as many variants of chess and other strategy games which - by the way - have been used on occasions to plot escape plans.

And yet another kind of situation which is a fertile ground for games is that of long term after-catastrophe situations in which survivors may face a long time in isolation or marooned. Expeditions and military campaigns may be counted among these, albeit in such cases, isolation is more or less sought after, but in all cases, these can be described as true survival situations in which participants face a lot of perils.

Some of these games are meaningless outside the closely-knit social group that is formed under such circumstances, but in a few cases, these newly-created games become mainstream.

But it is a well-established fact that expeditionary leaders such as Lewis and Clark, facing long terms of isolation and uncertainty know: subordinates and survivors must be kept busy the whole time in order to reduce risks of conduct problems derived from stress and aggression between people, which may be funnelled in any imaginable way. This is known as intraspecific aggression, and has caused violence and even deaths in many cases.

In other words, people either play or fight; so simple is life, after all. So, why should anyone interested in leadership know about this? Again, it is simple: If you keep your people happy and busy, you will have less trouble as a leader.

Simply nature; dawn in early fall, Patagonia.

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