The Rules of Play
Adults at play.
Why, and I know this isn’t just me, does the phrase above come off as either silly, sexual or immature?
It’s none of those things (necessarily).
Children instinctively know how to play, according to the man who discovered that rats laugh, neuroscientist Jaak Panskepp. No one thinks child’s play sounds dirty. And apparently, the more children play, the more empathetic and problem solving they are.
But play and laughter are very important for adults too.
At what point I wonder when we “grow up,” do we forget about and begin disparaging play and fall in to a trap of acting serious most of the time, especially in the work place?
Think about the concept of extended adolescence — usually used pejoratively, yes?
I, for one, have a very open schedule when it comes to play because it wildly enhances my creative and productive abilities. I am definitely looking for more ways to add it to my life.
How exactly do adults play, you ask?
I’m not quite sure. I think it’s a ‘know it when you are having fun in it’ type of thing. I do have a few personal rules:
- Play involves imagination.
- Play requires a non-stressed frame of mind.
- Play is directed by the minds of the players.
- Players are always free to quit play.
- In play, means are valued more than ends.
Yes, I’m feeling silly this morning, maybe even playful. That’s why I typed this business up.
So have a happy fun filled holiday weekend players!