10 July 2020
Nicholas of Cusa invented a game which he called ‘The Game of Spheres’. He wrote a book about it in the form of a conversation with two young people. It is both playful and creative.
The game consists of nine concentric circles and a wooden ball which is concave in the centre. The object of the game is to throw the ball so that it makes a path round these concentric circles and hopefully into the centre.
‘This game … represents the movement of our soul from its kingdom to the kingdom of life in which is peace and eternal happiness.’ explains Cusa. Jesus, the king and giver of life, is in the centre. If the player gets to the centre, he will gain the maximum number of points – the years of Christ’s life.
Each player makes his own unique path as he journeys towards the centre of life. Playing the game gives Cusa the opportunity to instruct the young men about God, the Creation, Christ, the body and soul. The dialogue format is in keeping with the spontaneity and improvisational nature of a game. There’s much laughter.
Cusa never loses sight of the value inherent in the game nor the value of life itself. The book concludes with the assertion that everything has value. The cause of all value is hidden in the centre of all the circles. This is God and he is the one who gives everything its proper value.