The Game, a 2018 book by Italian author Alessandro Baricco, is an ambitious intellectual exercise that aims to build a retroactive history of the digital revolution, from Space Invaders and through the invention of Internet and Napster, to the iPhone and the recent days of AI. The essay would have been very difficult to write with the academic rigor it is (necessarily) lacking. Some would argue that Baricco makes too many assumptions, long jumps, and baroque associations to make his point. But in my view, these problems are unimportant. No one (to my knowledge) has ever tried to accomplish the task of making some sense out of the confusing, fast-paced, and seemingly never-ending sequence of events of the digital revolution. In this sense, the freshness and extraordinary creativeness of Baricco's research is very much welcomed and makes a compelling case for exploring complex problems with alternative and unconventional methods—his mapping of digital territories in cartoonish, video-game-like cartographies is just one of those creative means he uses to capture a complex reality. We gain more understanding of the times we are living by simply forgiving and letting go of what is missing in his writing.

In one of the last chapters of the book, Baricco argues that (in the digital age) it is important to design aerodynamic narratives with the capacity to reach larger audiences, even if it is an imprecise and inexact truth. And here imprecision does not mean inaccuracy, vagueness or falsity, but a special kind of superficiality that does not necessarily mean lack of content. Following his reasoning, a superficial

message is one that has been stripped to its essence in such a way that it remains nimble and able to stay above the surface, while complexity sinks below. Newspaper headlines do this very well, and at some point, we were all invited to develop this ability to communicate effectively with the world, through a particular social platform, with as few as 140 characters—now 240.

Why is superficiality so relevant? Because in The Game (the term Baricco gives to the new civilization we built together in the digital age), speed is more important than precision. Therefore, it is better to have a synthetic version of the truth that can travel fast and reach broader audiences than a precise and refined truth that doesn't accomplish its task. According to Baricco, the political Right knows this very well and uses the tools of The Game with incredible wit, while the Left and intellectual élites of the Old Century have not learned this lesson (yet). Instead, they keep building complex and refined narratives that require the stillness and slow-pace of the 1900s and inevitably get lost in the way.
In sum, The Game is a must-read for anyone who want to gain insight into the fast-paced times we live in today.