What Does Play Teach Us?

Many people dismiss play as something that children do and the rest of us must outgrow, but this belief ignores the tremendous potential of play to make us smarter, saner, and more collaborative. There is a great deal of evidence that play may be the most important thing that we do and that play make be the only thing to save us.

As I noted in The Importance of Games, games are the focus and primary text of my Writing II class for first year writers at Morehead State University (see Using Games To Teach Writing Rocks). During our first week together we mined our personal experiences and history with games for inspiration, but our second week dove into the science of play and leaned heavily into the TED talks for inspiration with Press Play and The Illuminating Benefits of Video Games.

We wrote about:

  • The necessity of play for humans
  • Play as social glue
  • The importance of play as a break or escape
  • Games as a source of human connection and empathy

Do you think games and play make us smarter, saner, and more collaborative?

  • When has play made your life better?
  • What has play taught you about life?
  • How/when does play give you life?
  • When has play connected you with others?
  • In what ways has play taught you about the social contract?

Just write about the importance of play in your life or the human potential we could achieve if we focused our community life, our education system, and our work culture centering play.