Games and Joy

by Darius Kazemi on August 11, 2005

in Uncategorized

Robin says in a recent post that

You know how people always talk about the potential games have to make people learn? Explore new worlds, experience different roles, play around with new systems and ideas? I agree with all of that crap. But there’s something that we don’t spend a ton of time talking about, when it comes to evangelizing the benefits of gaming – and that’s joy.

Reading that, I was reminded of a great quote from Brian Sutton-Smith’s The Ambiguity of Play, which was a book I read while writing my thesis. He says that

belief in play as progress [in developing skills] is something that most Westerners cherish, but its relevance to play has been more often assumed than demonstrated. Most educators over the past two hundred years seem to have so needed to represent playful imitation as a form of children’s socialization and moral, social, and cognitive growth that they have seen play as being primarily about development rather than enjoyment. (9-10)

So yep. Just wanted to share that quote. The next time you’re trying to justify why we should play games to someone who just doesn’t get it, maybe you should mention the sheer joy of play.

{ 1 comment }

Darren Torpey August 12, 2005 at 8:29 pm

Indeed. Though if you ask me, the joy we have in games can and at least sometimes should lead towards development of some kind.

Besides, since when is the development of joy not one of life’s ultimate pursuits? Is learning how to embrace joy not one of the greatest lessons of all?

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