“Some day this war’s gonna end”

There are whole 3-month periods where I think about some part of Apocalypse Now (Redux or Final Cut, please) every single day.

This scene for example…

Duval doesn’t flinch when a mortar round explodes 20 feet from him, but the look on his face when he considers the war ending? DAMN. I think he portrays a man staring into the maw of his life’s decline into meaninglessness, and it’s one of the great moments in cinema.

What if a call to arms lies at the center of a brand colosseum? A mission to change the world?

What if we succeed?

This touches, perhaps, on James Carse’s notion of finite and infinite games.

I’ve noticed a few things about brand colosseums with a call to arms at the center:

  • The colosseum builders know they won’t “win the war”. The transformation they seek is ambitious and, although it’s an altruistic mission, they know not everyone will buy into it. Jonathan Stark’s mission to “rid the world of hourly billing” is an example.
  • These builders are energized by this unwinnable war because…
  • They are playing an infinite game, where what energizes them is the continued gameplay, not winning the game.

And I think it’s true that if these colosseum builders did win the game, they’d just make up a new one to play.

-P

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