Games created and imagined by societies will likely reflect societal values, beliefs, fears, and generally the character and personality of the social structure of the time.
That is why life situations are often described and elaborated upon by reference to particular games, by analogy, to elucidate the reality of a specific situation, or perhaps even the absurdity — because by describing the game, it removes the need to discuss a present reality, and instead to speak of it in terms of a third-person phenomena.
Thus, one might refer to the game of Go — and instruct the novice that, as in life, every time you “pass”, the opponent gains a move, and the more you pass, the greater gains, until victory occurs. Or the oft-quoted game of Chess, in which one must always think in terms of 5 moves ahead, lest your opponent already has mapped out the path to checkmate before you have even considered your options. And so we live life as we play games.
For the Federal or Postal Worker who is considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, such analogies are instructive. “Passing”, as in the game of Go, will only allow the two opponents — the agency, and the medical condition against which one is battling — to gain the upper hand both in terms of time and closing potential options. Failing to consider future moves, as in the game of Chess, will only increasingly limit and restrict one’s future ability to act; and so one’s future is diminished by the enemy of time.
In the end, games are created merely for recreation; but life itself is more than a period of fun and games, and failure to consider the seriousness of an analogy is only to the detriment of he who fails to consider the applicability of parallel universes.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire