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Subject: Could someone please explain this Reiner Knizia quote to me? rss

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Dave Nellis
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I just saw this micro badge for the first time

http://boardgamegeek.com/microbadge/4606

It says: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning'

Was there something lost in translation here? Is he trying to say it's more important to play the game, than to 'play' the rules?
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Jeremiah Lee
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I agree with James, and I own the badge.

I feel like too many people put too much importance on winning. The goal shouldn't be winning, the goal is to play-to-win, and to enjoy it, but not necessarily win.
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All My Hits Are Crits
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The quote means that without a goal of victory most games fall apart. Try playing a game with a group of people where one of them isn’t playing to win, messes up the whole experience. However that is all winning is, simply a goal to make the game function. And the function of the game is to engage the players.
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Thomas Verstraete
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Is this a variant on "the chase is better than the catch"?

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Daniel Danzer
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ScottMcChesney wrote:
... the function of the game is to engage the players.


Exactly! I want to capture the king, reach the finish line or get as much money as possible! The most succesful player in reaching this goal (or do it first) wins the game, but the engagement lays somewhere else.
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Edward Kenworthy
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No because that says the point is the chase. Reiner's point is you should play to win (not just chase) but not to worry if you don't.
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Chapel
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Focus on the journey, not the destination - Greg Anderson.

Heard that one before? Same thing.
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Joshua Harris
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MWChapel wrote:
Focus on the journey, not the destination - Greg Anderson.

Heard that one before? Same thing.


No, I think that's a wrong analogy. In this quote, you need to focus on the destination to make the journey worthwhile, but at the end of the day all that MATTERS is the journey, and that journey IS striving to reach the destination.
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J C Lawrence
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Play to win -- nothing else is more important.

Regret when you win -- it is a sign that there's little left to the game and it will soon be time to move on.

Enjoy the process of learning how to win -- that's why you're playing in the first place.
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Mike Jones
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I'm not even sure it's a translation error. But, I do think it may also be partly a cultural thing.

I do feel that there are some gamers that will do things it games 'to screw' with the game which in turn messes with the whole dynamics of the game. Also, when a gamer 'feels' they can't win they also 'throw' the game. I think the 'winning' part is also partly 'never surrender, never give up'. I think all games play better for all players if EVERYONE is playing to WIN. Even if you are in last place.

That doesn't mean you aren't trying to do low percentage chance things in order to change things, but it it does mean you aren't just throwing the game because you don't care any more.

But, conversely, all games play VERY BADLY when EVERYONE is doing EVERYTHING to WIN because that's all they want to do. In other words, winning is EVERYTHING to them and it they lose or do something bad dice or the board goes flying across the room.

So, do your best and the game will be the best for everyone. And if you do your best then you will feel fulfilled winning or not.
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Ubergeek
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I think it's closer to "Be happy in your work".
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Christopher Dearlove
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Guantanamo wrote:
I'm not even sure it's a translation error.


I'm not even sure if it is a translation. Anyone have an original source, and if so which language was it in? Note that Reiner may be German, but he lives in Britain and does much of his work in English. Which language he thinks in, I've no idea (probably both).

(I think the majority of people here interpret it similarly to how I do. But that's no proff of correctness of course. I seriously considered it as my fifth microbadge when just adding two, as I agree with what I think the sentiment is.)
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M H
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Original quote:
When playing a game, the goal is to win. This goal is what is important, not the whining.

Or as another famous man put it:
Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
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Dave Slaven
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Games are fun because everyone is trying to win. The fact that not everyone DOES win doesn't ruin the fun.

I don't think anything's lost in translation. It's perfectly eloquent as is, in English.

--Dave
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Melissa
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I don't see anything "lost in translation" there (and I am pretty sure that the original quote was in English).

When I run gaming events at my kids' school, I've often printed this out and taken it in to discuss before we start playing.

You should ALWAYS play to win and try to win - but when the game is finished, that's what matters - not who actually won.
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J C Lawrence
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jwoodall04 wrote:
That sentence could not have been thought up in English. It may have been spoken in English but I guarantee it was translated somewhere. :)


Disagreed.
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Christopher Dearlove
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clearclaw wrote:
jwoodall04 wrote:
That sentence could not have been thought up in English. It may have been spoken in English but I guarantee it was translated somewhere.


Disagreed.


Agree with the disagree.

The number of ways to use the language is enormous, and to claim something can't be original English is to discount many of those ways. In some ways it's like the famous Donald Rumsfeldism on unknown unknowns that got much stick, but actually made complete sense (unlike - no, let's not be sent to RSP). In a different way, this also makes complete sense, if a little Zen-like.

Of course if I really cared I'd ask.
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TOKYO Heartbroken
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Dearlove wrote:
Which language he thinks in, I've no idea (probably both).


Maths.
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Dan
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It's just a fancier way of saying what everyone already has explained--a sort of rhetorical flourish because of its brevity and paradoxical nature.

Enantiosis maybe? I was never very good with rhetorical devices and their names.
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Alex Rockwell
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This is one of my favorite quotes (I used it as my signature back in 2002).


To me it means all of the following:

* Playing a game is not just about trying to be the one who 'wins'. There is much more to a game than just 'winning'.

* In a game, you have a goal or goals that you are trying to achieve. For example: 'Build a city', 'Ship the most goods back to Europe', 'Defeat your enemies to achieve one of the following victory conditions', etc.

* Striving to achieve that goal as best we can is what is important. Not just because then we 'win', but because it is the goal. The point of the game is to best attempt to achieve the goal or one of the goals of the game, under the rule structure provided. The fun of the game comes in the striving to achieve this goal, whether or not we succeed. (Its often more fun to succeed, but not essential). 'Winning' just measures how well we succeeded in achieving the goal.
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Jack Smith
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The quote explains that playing to win is important although the actual win is not. I wish more players grasped this to be honest. The two are often mixed up and playing to win frowned on when its the attitude to the win (or loss) that can be an issue.

I always play to win as I think it gives my opponents the best game I can. I also never give up, which is part of the same concept, as that's plain rude. I actually care little if I win or not.
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Mark Buetow
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Whatever it means, it's wrong. Opponents were made to be crushed mercilessly and anything else is an epic fail! devil
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John Bandettini
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That one not so much
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Seems pretty clear to me, always try to win and you will enjoy yourself (unless the game is crap, OK he did not include that)
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J.L. Robert
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You mean...find happiness in doing your best, even if your best may not necessarily be THE Best.

EDIT: I've been trying to do that most all my life.
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Alex Rockwell
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jwoodall04 wrote:
No, I'm convinced it is a confusing sentence with a good meaning.


Yes it is, the 'Zen' nature of it makes it interesting, and meaningful.

I do believe this is a translation.
I took the line from a translation of an interview with Reiner Knizia that I read in the 2002 time frame, the interview was probably from 2001-2002.

I started using it as my sig in a bunch of board and/or computer game forums (CivFanatics/Apolyton forums, multiple board game forums, etc).
It became popular and others started using it as well. Other people might have started using it independently of me and spreading it as well, I'm not sure. (I know I was among the first, but there very well may have been multiple independant people who saw this quote and helped get it started. Or maybe they were all just copying my sig, I'm really not sure). In 2003-2004 lots of people were asking me where I found this quote, but I was not able to find a link to that translation again.

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