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Playful and serious


A new book co-edited by Professor Mark de Rond of Cambridge Judge – entitled Games: Conflict, competition and cooperation – looks at how games shape our lives through essays by eight prominent people.

Cycling competition.
Mark de Rond.
Professor Mark de Rond

A new book entitled Games: Conflict, competition and cooperation, co-edited by Professor Mark de Rond of Cambridge Judge Business School, examines through a series of essays by prominent people how games manifest in the world through conflict, competition and cooperation. The book will be published in November by Cambridge University Press.

The book developed from the 2016 Darwin College Lecture Series in which distinguished scholars address a theme from the point of view of eight different arts and sciences disciplines. Besides games, other recent themes in the series have included development, plagues, foresight, life and beauty.

Games is edited by Mark de Rond, Professor of Organisational Ethnography at Cambridge Judge and Fellow of Darwin College, University of Cambridge, and Dr David Blagden, Lecturer in International Security and Strategy at the University of Exeter and a former Fellow at Darwin College.

The book’s essays include contributions from former UK Cabinet Minister, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, philosopher A.C. Grayling, cycling coach David Brailsford, and the final work of the late Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling.

An introduction by Professor Mark de Rond and Dr David Blagden says that “games are ubiquitous” – shaping our governments, global relations and family life.

“Games consume resources, but also generate them; they foster friendships, deepen enmities, and shed light on both,” the introductory chapter says.

Whether it be children chasing a ball around a playground or a firm contemplating how to respond to a newly established rival, two chess grand-masters facing each other across a table or Chinese naval officers modeling what to do in some future confrontation with the United States, all are responding interactively to certain incentives under certain conditions.