Play matters / Miguel Sicart.

by Sicart, Miguel, 1978- [author.]Looking glass.

Series: Playful thinking (Cambridge, Mass): Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts ; The MIT Press, [2014]Description: x, 158 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 21 cm.ISBN: 0262027925; 9780262027922.Subject(s): Play -- Psychological aspectsLooking glassNote: Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Why play is a productive, expressive way of being, a form of understanding, and a fundamental part of our well-being.

What do we think about when we think about play? A pastime? Games? Childish activities? The opposite of work? Think again: If we are happy and well rested, we may approach even our daily tasks in a playful way, taking the attitude of play without the activity of play. So what, then, is play? In Play Matters , Miguel Sicart argues that to play is to be in the world; playing is a form of understanding what surrounds us and a way of engaging with others. Play goes beyond games; it is a mode of being human.

We play games, but we also play with toys, on playgrounds, with technologies and design. Sicart proposes a theory of play that doesn't derive from a particular object or activity but is a portable tool for being--not tied to objects but brought by people to the complex interactions that form their daily lives. It is not separated from reality; it is part of it. It is pleasurable, but not necessarily fun. Play can be dangerous, addictive, and destructive.

Along the way, Sicart considers playfulness, the capacity to use play outside the context of play; toys, the materialization of play--instruments but also play pals; playgrounds, play spaces that enable all kinds of play; beauty, the aesthetics of play through action; political play--from Maradona's goal against England in the 1986 World Cup to the hactivist activities of Anonymous; the political, aesthetic, and moral activity of game design; and why play and computers get along so well.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • On Thinking Playfully (p. vii)
  • Acknowledgments (p. ix)
  • Instructions for Reading This Book (p. xi)
  • 1 Play Is (p. 1)
  • 2 Playfulness (p. 19)
  • 3 Toys (p. 35)
  • 4 Playgrounds (p. 49)
  • 5 Beauty (p. 61)
  • 6 Politics (p. 71)
  • 7 Architects (p. 83)
  • 8 Play in the Era of Computing Machinery (p. 93)
  • Notes (p. 103)
  • References (p. 143)
  • Index (p. 157)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

This is the third release in the "Playful Thinking" series, which comprises brief books about playness and video games. Although Sicart (Center for Computer Game Research, IT Univ., Copenhagen) makes references to particular video games, he focuses on general topics, such as the definition of play and its purpose. Much like creativity, play is an end in itself. It is the process of play that is important. Sicart discusses toys and playgrounds and politics along with the architects of play. He sees play as a way of being human. In a chapter titled "Playfulness," he talks about the subversive or dark side of play. The tension between order and chaos is a feature of playfulness. Sicart's arguments are persuasive, and he offers specific examples to support his contentions. Play is not often thought of beyond childhood, but Sicart shows its value throughout life and its special place in the technology of the contemporary world. Despite its brevity, this book is a worthy addition to the literature on play. To help readers pursue some of the issues he raises, Sicart has provided hundreds of notes and an extensive and useful bibliography. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers. --Sally Sugarman, Vermont State Colleges

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Miguel Sicart is Associate Professor at the Center for Computer Game Research at IT University Copenhagen. He is the author of The Ethics of Computer Games and Beyond Choices: The Design of Ethical Gameplay , both published by the MIT Press.

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