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Παρασκευή, 22 Ιουλίου 2011

Genies and their Games



GENIES AND THEIR GAMES


Once upon a time, deep into the past, this universe was inhabited by genies. Free and powerful, they played and enjoyed themselves all the time, trying to surpass one another, getting into mischiefs from time to time, just like kids do. Apart from running up and down in the universe, they played with matter and energy, creating various toys. A favorite toy was a container that they created in various forms, with different qualities and capabilities.

We should note at this point that the meaning of "good" was not the same as today. Good meant aesthetic. And admiration was what genies sought the most - the prize for the winner of each game. Therefore, the container game started on this same basis -who will make the most impressive container -, but it soon evolved into something different.

As they played with their container toys, genies noticed at a certain point of time that it was fun to enter inside them and thus have new and different experiences. They made more and more intricate containers, with special effects and strange capabilities that they could now experience.

This game offered a whole new set of new possibilities to interact one with another, and at some point it was valued more than any other game. The first group game was soon established - many genies decided to play together, in their containers, experiencing things never known before. How many new things could they now do! They discovered organization, societies, governments. They were not as free as before, because group play involved abiding by certain rules, nevertheless it was fun - at least in the beginning...

The containers were fragile, and through the course of time, genies, identifying themselves with their containers, started to believe that they themselves were fragile and could be destroyed. They started to feel fear. And fear made them become serious. They begun to lose their insouciance and, for the first time, they were getting older. Many more rules were set in place and the concept of good was reviewed to mean "anything that assists or improves the survival of the containers". And they developed their group game around such survival.

But free genies were playing without any rules. And as their powers were unlimited, they started to be a great threat to the genies living in containers. When they got outraged - even though we don't like to believe it, free genies are not the personification of goodness - they could just smash a planet to pieces. Or, for sheer amusement, move genies from one container to another or harass them in other ways, inducing great upset.

Total freedom and individuality were now a plague for the genies living in containers. They developed a different meaning for freedom - "permission to use one's container according to one's own choice". And of course they did not feel safe with all the free genies around, who were messing with their lives. Therefore they started setting traps in order to enclose them in containers. There was no other way to make them behave. And somewhere along the line, the game became "enclose all genies in containers".

The score was soon in favor of those living in containers, as they were acting as a group, in contrast to the free genies, who, although powerful, were by themselves and had no sense of organization. Consequently, free genies lost in this game. But everyone lost in fact. They could not undo what they had done. They did not know how to free themselves from the containers and regain the powers they once had.

Fortunately, some genies were never caught in the trap, and some others managed to escape. But something has changed for the free genies. They will never be the same again, because now they have gained experience. They learned about new concepts, such as ethics and responsibility. And these concepts, if not limited to the survival of the containers, can be used for the liberation of genies and the creation of a much better game.

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