There’s game theory, and then there’s game studies. One involves math while the other involves play. But what if math is a game and play is the end of everything? There are ends and ends after all: some are pauses, while others are purposes. So, are gamers, athletes, artists, and theoretical scientists just “fiddling while Rome burns”–wasting time, being useless? Or are they creating a new and better world? To answer that question, we will learn about the game theories of von Neumann and Nash, the game studies of Jane McGonigal, the game philosophies of Wittgenstein and Walton, and the value theory of Aristotle. We will ask questions like, “What would we do if there were no problems left to solve?” “What’s the difference between a problem and a puzzle?” and “Does ‘useless’ mean ‘valueless’?” We’ll watch fun videos, play fun games, solve fun puzzles, have fun discussions, and philosophize about what “fun” even is.


Aristotle reading

Wilson and Fermilab reading

Lewis reading

Wittgenstein reading

Suits reading

Prime Factors

Dragon Curve