Why Play is Important
Play and games are not just important to children and young people but to all people everywhere, and this is why we are using them in this project.
In a book called Homo Ludens, Johan Huizinga (1872 – 1945) was one of the first people to argue that play is an important part of adults’ social and cultural lives.
This book was first published in Dutch in 1938. The title is in Latin. Translated into English, this means Man Plays.
Since then, a lot more people have written books on play, games, playfulness and fun. Although they don’t all necessarily agree with each other, they do all agree that play and games are important to people everywhere.
Some interesting things about play
It is voluntary – you only join in if you want to
It challenges us – in his book The Grasshopper, Bernard Suits describes a game as ‘the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles’!
It is uncertain – the outcome is unpredictable
It involves failing – we don’t have to win
It builds community – it can help us to work together
It can help us solve problems – and to learn as we do this