The debate between metaphor theorists and conceptual historians has been intensifying in recent years. This article takes this debate beyond the bias toward Blumenberg's metaphorology, and starts from the interaction view of metaphor as formulated by Max Black. The article opens with a theoretical framework that reformulates Black's notions of metaphorical resonance and emphasis. It adapts them to the requirements of Conceptual History, and adds a third, historical criterion for metaphoricity. It then applies these suggestions to the history of the metaphor play/game/Spiel/jeu within twentieth-century political thought. Here, the focus lies on the role this metaphor plays in the conceptual relations between the ideas of political order, conflict, and immanence.