The seed is the cage is the seed
May 10, 2012 4:26 PM   Subscribe

Writers I like: Johan Huizenga, A. S. Neill, Christopher Alexander, Philippe Gaulier, James Paul Gee. Thoughts I'm interested in: the systemic formation of culture; how we interact with and are shaped by said systems; how those systems emerge as part of a "playful" procedure; how play is often used as a release from cultural standards. Who else will I like? What ideas will fascinate me further?

Other writers I'm familiar with, though who don't inspire me quite as much:

Ian Bogost
Keith Johnstone
Celia Pearce
Jane McGonigal
Katie Salen
Jacques Lecoq
Brian Sutton-Smith
Jesper Juul
posted by Rory Marinich to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Mary Flanagan's Critical Play is a much needed update to Huizinga's theories.
posted by spunweb at 4:37 PM on May 10, 2012

Response by poster: Interesting. Update how?
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:51 PM on May 10, 2012

Gregory Bateson and Victor Turner leap to mind.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 4:54 PM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: I have not read any of the authors you list, but from your topical description, I must suggest one of my very, if not my very, favorite book:

"Finite and Infinite Games" by James P. Carse, is like the 'Tao Te Ching' of Play. Simple and sublime.
posted by iurodivii at 5:03 PM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

She basically goes over his analysis of games as reflective/constitutive of culture, and then talks about using games and game design as part of a larger activist project. She's on TED Talks if you want to see/hear her discuss it. The book itself is REALLY engaging, too.
posted by spunweb at 8:15 PM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: This blog on playground architecture is fascinating and always points to interesting writers and thinkers.
posted by jann at 9:37 PM on May 10, 2012

This book also looks really interesting, but I haven't read it.
posted by jann at 9:49 PM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: If your interest extends to the impact of information technology viewed very broadly, e.g. writing, printing press, telephone/telegraph, as well as the Internet, consider Elin Whitney-Smith's work on information revolutions:
posted by alittleknowledge at 7:14 AM on May 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

This sounds like a great project. Christopher Alexander and A.S. Neill have been a huge influence.

Kind of related, Flow by Mihaly Csikczentmihaly about the experience of being completely involved in what you are doing.

wow i didn't finish this from three days ago. I for one, believe in climbing ropes, rings and bars in the living room and witnessed my daughter catch herself from falling when a kid pushed her off the swing by catching herself. Great reflexes and strength. Daily flips on the rings for years now at 4 1/2. I'm mostly a stay at home dad, with a father who had the tendency to climb buildings. So my kids are like mountain goats; we gamble everywhere. From balance beams on fences, hopping fence posts, to climbing walls and rocks.

I work at a library with a four inch step so kids can see what's going on, on top of the desk. There are two main categories of parents. The ones who talk to the kids about what is going on on the desk and the ones who yell at the kids for climbing. This is one of those architectural features that reveal who we are, as well as add to our potential.
posted by mearls at 3:16 AM on May 20, 2012

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