Monday, February 7, 2011

Press Play -

We hit the 'play' button numerous times a day whether it is to begin playing music, video games, movies, physical activities, or even a state of mind to use for allotted free time. However, at a fundamental level it is easy undermine the notion of play in daily functions without determining how significant its purposes is to the development of human society and culture. As a cultural theorist, Johannes Huizinga delves into the elements of play theory to emphasize the primary relation 'playing' has to defining culture within generations.

Huzinga asserts that play is older than culture and there for other species have learned instinctual behavior from the activity of playing. Perhaps, a common factor in animal and human play, is competition because the act of winning clearly denotes dominance. This is evident, yet baffling because as capitalistic society, our values hinge on being productive. Hence, play comes in the way of increasing productivity whether that is defined in terms of manufacturing products or obtaining intellectual knowledge. So society looks down upon play as a child's game, but Huzinga points that the notion of play provides critical function in aspects of our civilization such as law, war, politics, literature, philosophy, arts, and other strategic role playing. Perhaps, at a micro level the idea of being in the act of play or conducting it is diminished and undervalued. However,at a macro level the notion of play is vital both in childhood and maturity to essentially engage in social, and cultural development. It appears that as video games and digital technology (Internet and media) have grown to be competitive industries, both society and academia have increasingly acknowledged the role of play as a cultural phenomenon that is a contributing factor for creative productions. As a result, companies like Google, Facebook, Zappos, and others have acknowledged that fun and playful environment is an emerging factor in developing the new culture of production. Thus, it is significant to acknowledge that playing is learning...

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