I wonder what Wittgenstein would think about Calvin ball. Calvin ball is a game invented by Calvin of the Calvin and Hobbes comic. The only rule to Calvin ball is that there are no rules. What counts as a move in the game? Pretty much anything. But, is this a problem? If anything counts as a move, does nothing count? I'm inclined to say no. There are not conflicting rules or conflicting interpretations being appealed to. There aren't distinguishing rules being appealed to either. Wittgenstein would probably think that there is too little structure to the "game" for it to count as a game.This gets Calvinball slightly but importantly wrong. It's not that there are no rules; it's that they make them up as they go along (and that they never play it the same way twice). But once a rule is made up, it's a rule (at least for now). When Calvin touches (what Hobbes, making the rule up on the spot, then reveals to be) the Pernicious Poem Place, Calvin still takes himself to be bound by the newly invented rule to recite, to his chagrin:
This is a poem! Please do as you're told!After Susie complies, Calvin subsequently indicates, damply, that he takes Hobbes to be bound by this rule as well ("just you wait").
And this is a bucket of water, ice-cold!
Please take this water, and dump it on me!
Don't hesitate! Do it A.S.A.P.!
And anyway, even if there "were no rules," that doesn't mean it's not a game, even for Wittgenstein (and his point here, of which more later). They're still playing, after all; and they do distinguish playing from non-playing (games begin and end). They keep score, too (one game is Q to 7 at one point, I believe).