The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship by Stephen Potter
I never know where my reading will take me while on the Read the World Challenge. For instance, in the third month (remember that I started a month early to make sure that things were running smoothly), one element is to read a book that you normally wouldn’t read. I selected The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship or The Art of Winning Games Without Actually Cheating because I remembered seeing an article about it. Thanks to Evernote, it was easy enough, using search, to find where I read about The Theory of Practice of Gamesmanship by Stephen Potter. It turns out that I read about the book in BoingBoing.net, “Gamesmanship and the strange little books that taught me how to win at everything.”
Isn’t the title of the article intriguing? Michael Borys writes:
“The wisdom of Stephen Potter is my greatest secret. And now it is my gift to you.
I’m not saying that I’ve ever been truly cool, but I can say with great certainty that, right now, I am not uncool. This beautiful state of being doesn’t just happen overnight. For those of us not born with the cool, it takes a whole lot of work, even more luck, and sometimes a push in the right direction.”
How can you not want to read the books mentioned in the post with an endorsement like that? Most of the Stephen Potter books on gamesmanship are out of print, but I was able to snag a Kindle version of The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship.
What is gamesmanship? It’s The art of winning games without cheating. I love that, it’s so wholesome. However, looking at my notes, I wrote, “I don’t know what to make of this book.” That’s the good thing about taking notes, you can refer to them, and now that I have the Livescribe Echo Pen, the Process is simple.
Nuggets from The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship by Stephen Potter
- Timing is everything.
- The most important gamesmanship play starts before the game.
- Cause your opponent to become anxious.
- If you are playing against an experienced competitor, use counter-gamesmanship techniques.
- How to win games without being able to play them – by distracting the opponent.
- Let your altitude be the antithesis to your opponent’s.
- If you have experience when you play, you have an advantage.
- Play against your opponent’s tempo.
- Wear down your opponent.
- Break the flow of your opponent.
- Call a time out – this is primarily to distract your opponent.
- Make friend s with your opponent, then undermine the assumed friendship.
Some of the above are excellent strategies for negotiation, but I would not be able to use some of the strategies because I consider them to be downright underhanded. I am not going to rank The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship by Stephen Potter because I have only read of the books.
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