“There are two kinds of games in the universe: finite games and infinite games. A finite game is played to win. An infinite game, on the other hand, is played to keep the game going. It does not terminate because there is no winner.
Finite games require rules that remain constant. The game fails if the rules change during the game. Altering rules during play is unforgivable, the very definition of unfairness. Great effort, then, is taken in a finite game to spell out the rules beforehand and enforce them during the game.
An infinite game, however, can keep going only by changing its rules. To maintain open-endedness, the game must play with its rules.
A finite game such as baseball or chess or Super Mario must have boundaries — spatial, temporal, or behavioral. So big, this long, do or don’t do that.
An infinite game has no boundaries. James Carse, the theologian who developed these ideas in his brilliant treatise Finite and Infinite Games, says, “Finite players play within boundaries; infinite players play with boundaries.”.”