Play is a feeling rather than an action. It is enjoyable to all of those players involved and it is voluntary of all those involved. As soon as you are forced to “play” a game, it is no longer play as you are not enjoying yourself. It includes active engagement by the players. Play is not restricted to any one age group and is able to be felt by any person or creature. By these guidelines work can be considered play, although the majority of people find work to be apart from play. It is a natural feeling and usually has no endpoint or goal other than the desire for fun or relief from stress. Different cultural groups and individuals see play differently based on their experiences and their lifestyles. It often supports and results in the formation of social groups.
Play can be broken into two main groups; Structured and Unstructured. Unstructured games are free and have no guidelines or rules. You do what you pleased with only fun in mind. Structured games had the rules and guidelines and often have a planned aspect to them.
There are many different styles of play that are sub-categories to the structured and unstructured styles of play. Epistemic play is a form of play that assists in the development of cognitive and intellectual skills. Ludic Play gives that same assistance in social or creative skills. Play is one of the most valuable tools for leaning. It is key in promoting the exercise of the muscles and the brain and it is the primary way a child learns about the physics and designs of the world from an early age.
Games with rules are another category of play. Games usually have a goal and have a greater sense of seriousness. Games always have rules that adapt to the environment. They also have defined player roles, limits, and expectations. They are usually games known to all or most of the players and easily taught to a new player. Games often include props, tools, animals or toys of some sort. These sorts of games include tag, card games, board games, sports and video games.
Another form of structured play is gambling. The soul purpose of gambling is to have fun but there are stakes in gambling. It can lose the play aspect and become addiction to some. Gambling is play when you are enjoying yourself and having fun, but falls out of play when the individual is no longer enjoying the activity and are doing it only for money or addiction.
Play as a noun is a dramatic composition or piece that is preformed on stage. This is a form of play that allows observers to see a story or idea shown to them through others enjoying themselves in the act of play. This is a form of structured play.
Digital play includes interactive games and technological platforms such as video games, consoles, personal computers, internet plays, portable and wireless devices, arcade games and virtual reality games in theme parks. These types of games are the leading edge of the entertainment industry. Over 60% of Americans play interactive games on a regular basis. Interactive gaming has even unleashed its own set of vocabulary including words like “Pwned” and “Noob.”
With regard to experience design and new media, the primary goal of these types of artists is to form an interactive design. Interactive designs have a larger scale effect when it promotes play or is enjoyable to the user. Experience designers use New Media to form a fun experience for their users and that falls into the category of play. This style of play is to gain a reaction from the user although the reaction is not always a playful one.
To me, play is my relief from stress and is a vice to keep me from snapping under the workload of my life. To have to maintain a job, school and many other activities that are often no fun (though fun at times) can prove to be disheartening. My indulgence in video game consoles and online role-playing games allows me to maintain a balance and keep myself content and pleased with my lifestyle.
No matter what form of play a person takes part in, the effect is the same. Age, race, gender, ethnicity; all of it just chooses a style of play not the effect. Play gives everyone a fun, happy experience and is a natural part of life. Play is a necessity in a healthy life.
1. Jessie, Myself; as you said that we are all experts in play
4. Perspectives on Play: Learning for life By Avril Brock
5. Man, Play and Games By Roger Caillois
6. Digital Play: The Interaction of Technology, Culture, and Marketing By Stephen Kline, Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig De Peuter
7. Game Play : Therapeutic Use of Childhood Games By Charles Schaefer and Steven Reid