Tag Archives: deep play

Treating the Game As A Game


One of the conventions the Free Play handicapper implements is to set one elder against the other. Here the elders embrace after the contest, and you can’t tell who was on what side of a 20-4 score, can you?

F(ather): Suppose you tell me what you would understand by the words “serious” and a “game.”
D(aughter): Well… if you’re… I don’t know.
F: If I am what?
D: I mean… the conversations are serious for me, but if you are only playing a
game…
F: Steady now. Let’s look at what is good and what is bad about “playing” and
“games.” First of all, I don’t mind —not much—about winning or losing. When your questions put me in a tight spot, sure, I try a little harder to think straight and to say clearly what I mean. But I don’t bluff and I don’t set traps. There is no temptation to cheat.
D: That’s just it. It’s not serious to you. It’s a game. People who cheat just don’t know how to play. They treat a game as though it were serious.
F:But it is serious.
D: No, it isn’t—not for you it isn’t.
F: Because I don’t even want to cheat?
D: Yes—partly that.
F: But do you want to cheat and bluff all the time?
D: No—of course not.
F: Well then?
D: Oh—Daddy—you’ll never understand.
F: I guess I never will.

F: Look, I scored a sort of debating point just now by forcing you to admit that you
don’t want to cheat—and then I tied onto that admission the conclusion that therefore the conversations are not “serious” for you either. Was that a sort of cheating?
D: Yes—sort of.
F: I agree—I think it was. I’m sorry.
D: You see, Daddy—if I cheated or wanted to cheat, that would mean that I was not
serious about the things we talk about. It would mean that I was only playing a
game with you.
F: Yes, that makes sense.

(excerpt; 2.3 Metalogue: About Games and Being Serious | Steps to An Ecology of the Mind; Gregory Bateson)

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PLAYING IN THE LIBRARY

from The Shifted Librarian.

Hot Books is a game designed to bring life back into libraries by forcing players to explore, discover and share the deserted and unexplored spaces that make up a library.

See also:

Jane McGonigal’s Avant-Game
Hot Books at NYPL

Sometime in the next month or so I will summarize the extraordinary seven installments of a workshop given earlier this year at Lakewood Public Library. Also, I will reconfigure the web resource from Lakewood’s web site, and attach it to the squareONE web site.

The series was initiated to prove the concept:

Transformative learning is an aspect of adult education and experiential learning. In the modern library the lack of formality, the encouragement of do-it-yourself investigation, and the breadth of library resources aptly fits with initiatives oriented around informal learning leveraged through active, experiential engagement in and with the library and its resources.

In the conventional sense of self-directed learning about a subject of interest, a library presents an array of resources a learner uses to investigate and learn about this subject.

However, when the subject is one’s self, the hallmark of learning is learning through which this “subject” activates a process of discovery and testing and change. Such initiatives are ultimately emancipatory, and expressly the goal of this type of learning is self-knowledge and advances in personal capability.

The concept was proved. (Hat tip to Alana, who attended every session, and also to Fred and Ken.) In fact, the series was a high point of my own game-making career. One of the neat realizations shared with participants, aggrandizing as it may be, was that our collaboration and innovative use of the library, had never happened in this way ever before in any library. We all were groundbreakers in experiential learning in the environs of the great Lakewood Public Library.

Rather than decide between cognitive, somatic and phenomenal modes of experiential learning, the conceptual underpinning of transformative learning utilized for the programs at Lakewood Public Library integrates the three modalities and terms this integration: Integrated Learning.*

Integrated diagram

Integrated learning joins experience of relatedness to features and phenomena of the world (including other persons,) plus one’s spontaneous perceptions plus reflective conceptualizations about these experiences. It’s aim can be a: test of learning; discovery of further possibilities for investigation; or insights powerful enough to cause transformative effects.

[Lakewood Public Library Transformative Learning Portal]

(* Integral Learning’s conceptual framework with respect to its cognitive aspect is closely related to the learning models of David A. Kolb, et.al., and Jack Mezirow. With respect to the phenomenal (world-situated) aspect it is indebted to the work of Paulo Freire. Whereas its somatic aspect emerges from a variety of models and theorization in the interdisciplinary realm of embodied learning, etc.)

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RIGHT TO THE PLAYFUL HEART

In my trolling for items of interest, I happened upon a terrific resource, the web site of Yannis Karaliotas. He’s an explorer and scholar with very similar affinities to my own. His paper, “The Element of Play in Learning” is among the many keepers at his site. The subtitle to the paper is “The Role of Synergetic Playful Environments in the Implementation of Open and Distance Learning”. Yup.

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LIFE IS A CARNIVAL

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. -Plato

Found on a page about: The Healing Carnival

The Healing Carnival is becoming: an evolutionary game, a multimedia arts ensemble an epic conspiracy, a garden of earthly delights, a sowing of seeds of harmony a new way of making love, a balm for troubled hearts, an endless pilgrimage, a culture sculptors’ colony, the moral equivalent of war, a clarion call in the midst of a storm, a path to wisdom, an exercise in applied cosmology, a bodhisattvas’ boot camp, a form of right livelihood, a festival of life, suitable for the entire family!

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STRAIGHT TO THE PLAYFUL HEART

In my trolling for items of interest, I happened upon a terrific resource, the web site of Yannis Karaliotas. He’s an explorer and scholar with very similar affinities to my own. His paper, “The Element of Play in Learning” is among the many keepers at his site. The subtitle to the paper is “The Role of Synergetic Playful Environments in the Implementation of Open and Distance Learning”. Yup.

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