I found this weeks readings to be pretty stimulating as far as how I think about what it means to “play.” Houzinga’s piece “Homo Ludens” was especially conductive for my thoughts about what it means to play. I especially like how he recalls that the activity of “play” existed long before humans were ever around. By pointing this out Houzing makes clear that “play” is not a part of the human experience, but that “play” is an activity enjoyed by every organism capable of “play.”
I also liked that Hauzing classified “play” as “senseless and irrational” (17). This really rings true to me, although there are people who write books about WoW and Football tactics, in their essence both of those games are entirely irrational and senseless, leveling up in WoW and getting a sticker on your helmet for a sack are not feats that are going to put food in the fridge or pay rent. Its not that this idea de-legitimizes these games, it more so puts them into perspective. Hauzing prodded me to realize that futility is just as big a part of “play” as fun is.
Sicart’s piece “Play Matters” also opened up some new doors in my definition of, and thoughts on “play.” The most significant claim that Sicart makes, or the one that I found to be the most fascinating, was his claim that “play” is involved in every facet of our lives. This made me think about how “play” is a part of every human interaction we have. I also liked how Sicart points out that there are a huge array of ways to “play,” and how he uses the example of the Camover Game to drive that point home.