what is play?

I’m working (there’s that word!) with Stuart Brown‘s *properties* of play (defining play is like defining love) as a place to start. Here they are:

  1. Apparently purposeless (done for its own sake)
  2. Voluntary
  3. Inherent Attraction
  4. Freedom from time
  5. Diminished consciousness of self
  6. Improvisational potential (not locked into rigid way of doing things, open to chance)
  7. Continuation desire

I trip up a little on the 1st attribute. I like it but I don’t, but I think it’s semantic. After talking with friend, artist and teacher Tonya Kehoe-Anderson today over lunch as she brilliantly expounded on the place of play in what she does as a teacher, I came up with this alteration that works for me: “apparently purposeless: it’s not about the product, it’s about the process”. What do you think?


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