Homo Ludens

Author: Johan Huizinga
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 9780415175944
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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First published in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Man Play and Games

Author: Roger Caillois
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252070334
Format: PDF, Docs
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Play is "an occasion of pure waste: waste of time, energy, ingenuity, skill, and often of money." It is also an essential element of human social and spiritual development. In this study, Roger Caillois defines play as a voluntary activity that occurs in a pure space, isolated and protected from the rest of life. Within limits set by rules that provide a level playing field, players move toward an unpredictable outcome by responding to their opponents' actions. Caillois qualifies types of games and ways of playing, from the improvisation characteristic of children's play to the disciplined pursuit of solutions to gratuitously difficult puzzles. He also examines the means by which games become part of daily life, ultimately giving cultures their most characteristic customs and institutions.

Religion in Human Evolution

Author: Robert N. Bellah
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674063090
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This ambitious book probes our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have imagined were worth living. Bellah’s theory goes deep into cultural and genetic evolution to identify a range of capacities (communal dancing, storytelling, theorizing) whose emergence made religious development possible in the first millennium BCE.

Play Matters

Author: Miguel Sicart
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262325969
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Playful Identities

Author: Valerie Frissen
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press - M
ISBN: 9789089646392
Format: PDF, Docs
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In this publication, eighteen scholars examine the increasing role of digital media technologies in identity construction through play. This interdisciplinary collection argues that present-day play and games are not only appropriate metaphors for capturing postmodern human identities, but are in fact the means by which people create their identity.

The Waning of the Middle Ages

Author: J. Huizinga
Publisher: Pickle Partners Publishing
ISBN: 1787201392
Format: PDF, ePub
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“To the world when it was half a thousand years younger,” Huizinga begins, “the outline of all things seemed more clearly marked than to us.” Life seemed to consist in extremes—a fierce religious asceticism and an unrestrained licentiousness, ferocious judicial punishments and great popular waves of pity and mercy, the most horrible crimes and the most extravagant acts of saintliness—and everywhere a sea of tears, for men have never wept so unrestrainedly as in those centuries. First published in 1924, this brilliant portrait of the life, thought, and art in France and the Netherlands in the 14th and 15th centuries is our most trenchant study of that crucial moment in history when the Middle Ages gave way to the great energy of the Renaissance. From an analysis of the dominating ideas of the times—those that held the medieval world together, supported its religion and informed its art and literature—emerges the style of a whole culture at the extreme limit of its development.

Rooting for the Home Team

Author: Daniel A. Nathan
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252094859
Format: PDF, Docs
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Rooting for the Home Team examines how various American communities create and maintain a sense of collective identity through sports. Looking at large cities such as Chicago, Baltimore, and Los Angeles as well as small rural towns, suburbs, and college towns, the contributors consider the idea that rooting for local athletes and home teams often symbolizes a community's preferred understanding of itself, and that doing so is an expression of connectedness, public pride and pleasure, and personal identity. Some of the wide-ranging essays point out that financial interests also play a significant role in encouraging fan bases, and modern media have made every seasonal sport into yearlong obsessions. Celebrities show up for big games, politicians throw out first pitches, and taxpayers pay plenty for new stadiums and arenas. The essays in Rooting for the Home Team cover a range of professional and amateur athletics, including teams in basketball, football, baseball, and even the phenomenon of no-glove softball. Contributors are Amy Bass, Susan Cahn, Mark Dyreson, Michael Ezra, Elliott J. Gorn, Christopher Lamberti, Allison Lauterbach, Catherine M. Lewis, Shelley Lucas, Daniel A. Nathan, Michael Oriard, Carlo Rotella, Jaime Schultz, Mike Tanier, David K. Wiggins, and David W. Zang.

Play Anything

Author: Ian Bogost
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465096506
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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How filling life with play-whether soccer or lawn mowing, counting sheep or tossing Angry Birds-forges a new path for creativity and joy in our impatient age Life is boring: filled with meetings and traffic, errands and emails. Nothing we'd ever call fun. But what if we've gotten fun wrong? In Play Anything, visionary game designer and philosopher Ian Bogost shows how we can overcome our daily anxiety; transforming the boring, ordinary world around us into one of endless, playful possibilities. The key to this playful mindset lies in discovering the secret truth of fun and games. Play Anything, reveals that games appeal to us not because they are fun, but because they set limitations. Soccer wouldn't be soccer if it wasn't composed of two teams of eleven players using only their feet, heads, and torsos to get a ball into a goal; Tetris wouldn't be Tetris without falling pieces in characteristic shapes. Such rules seem needless, arbitrary, and difficult. Yet it is the limitations that make games enjoyable, just like it's the hard things in life that give it meaning. Play is what happens when we accept these limitations, narrow our focus, and, consequently, have fun. Which is also how to live a good life. Manipulating a soccer ball into a goal is no different than treating ordinary circumstances- like grocery shopping, lawn mowing, and making PowerPoints-as sources for meaning and joy. We can "play anything" by filling our days with attention and discipline, devotion and love for the world as it really is, beyond our desires and fears. Ranging from Internet culture to moral philosophy, ancient poetry to modern consumerism, Bogost shows us how today's chaotic world can only be tamed-and enjoyed-when we first impose boundaries on ourselves.