Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vital play

Last month I wrote a post about game play and how I wanted work to be more like that. I've spent some more time thinking and recently stumbled across this TED video about play and why it is important. It turns out that not only is it stimulating and fun but also vital for our brain and perhaps even our survival! A under stimulated being will sooner or later be depressed and this actually results in a shrinking brain!! Ouch! 

Before we continue let me just clarify what play is. The state of play occurs when no particular purpose exists for our actions. If purpose is more important than the act of doing it is probably not play.

Now why is play important then? For one thing it is the medium to link our brain to our body, this is how we learn. And play can exist in many forms such as social play (the want to belong), ritual play (sports), storytelling, imagination etc. etc. But I also believe that it is in the act of play that we get as most creative. Where we let our constraints go and dream up new ideas. Without it, a small amount of depression enters and we stagnate in our development as beings. Most of my ideas pop into my head from nowhere and then tag along for a while. But it is when I interact with others and play around with the idea that it takes off and becomes something more. And I can feed off that energy for weeks! (and if you want a money making angle on it, that energy is fueled straight into my work).

So keep on playing! If not for us (mankind) then for your own sake, and for your brain… and because it’s god damn fun!

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