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Huizinga, play, and criteria for it. - Chronarchy

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February 5th, 2007


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01:03 pm - Huizinga, play, and criteria for it.
Huizinga mentions four critera of play, and generally my definitions of the same word (as well as "game" and a few others) follow from this:

  1. Play is free and voluntary. Play is never forced on a person. It is extremely important that we participate in play of our own free will, though we need to also remember the part of the straight-man, who does not participate in play, but still serves a vital role.

  2. Play is not ordinary. It is something separate from a normal or "real" state of being. Importantly, this does not mean that it is in any way inferior to being "serious". In fact, Huizinga shows that play often is extremely serious.

  3. Play is limited and secluded. It is separated out temporally and locativly and often does not last long or exceed a defined space. States of play will invariably come to an end, exiting their time and the space they are in. There is a certain moment in which play always stops, but it is always remembered. This is a strange thing about play: it is treasured, and thus becomes repeatable, and higher forms of play show this repetition often.

  4. Play is constrained by rules, and proceeds in an orderly manner. These rules may be broken, and the treason is often quickly forgotten. The parent who scolds a playing child, though, will not be quickly forgotten, for they break the world of play wide open, destroying it. Huizinga calls these people "spoil-sports", and insists that they are often dealt with harshly.

Definition of terms: always so darned important. Sometimes, I forget that people don't understand things the way I do.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Something So Feminine About a Mandolin", -JB
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From:whitmanschild
Date:February 5th, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
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Oh my. Just reading this made a particular entry made me think of a particular kind of play--one that I'm not really free to discuss out of concern for both confidence and the boundaries of good taste.

I'll let you decide what that says about me as a person and where my head is at today.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:February 5th, 2007 09:53 pm (UTC)
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Haha. That particular kind of play, if it's the kind I'm thinking it might be, would probably fit this criteria well (and in interesting ways). I think that this says that you, as a person, have broad and interesting horizons of thought.
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From:wishesofastar
Date:February 5th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
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And that's all well and good. To paraphrase what I posted in your other thread: as long as the other people you're playing with understand this as well.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 5th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
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You can't play with someone who isn't playing. It's not possible.
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From:smithing_chick
Date:February 6th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
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Sometimes, I forget that people don't understand things the way I do.

I know that feeling!

Amusingly, I did a graphic design project based on an article Paul Rand* wrote about using creative play & how to use it to increase creativity. I based it all on the Tangram & it had magnetic tangram set in it & all the text was in tangram puzzles. Doing that project was like playing- way too much fun! :)

*GD Genius- designed the IBM logo, amoung a great many other things. My Typography prof worshipped him.
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From:viedansante
Date:February 6th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
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It's really freaking awesome that someone took the time to write up a definition for something as important (yet overlooked) as play.

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