100 Days of Play – Blog
For generations people have asked when the propensity for technology to reduce the effort required to deliver the basics of food, water, shelter will be met with a reduction in the length of the working week. We have not yet achieved a three-day week. In certain categories of jobs people are working longer than ever. But the fact is that on the whole we are working significantly less than has historically been the case. Weekends spent outside work are now the norm, where once two full days off was the exception.read more
Today I read the article ‘Work Isn’t the Opposite of Play’ by Ben Ross, and though I agreed with the premise, reasoning, and conclusion, I did take exception to the sentence “Further, I’d argue that to be really good at work you have to play at it.” My inference from this, rightly or wrongly, was of an embedded assumption for the necessity of work and the need to be “really good” at working through the utilisation of play. I was left with the question, has this blog post become effective propaganda for a prevailing paradigm of oppression? You may well consider that a quick escalation given Ben’s convivial writing; still, let me see if I can make my case in point by way of this invitation from The Flying Raccoon.read more
One of the fun things about working in Play is that you get to tell people ‘I work in Play’. Reactions vary wildly. It’s good to see, though, that many believe that the ‘defence of play’ has already been won. When I say to these people ‘Play Isn’t the Opposite of Work’, they’ll say ‘Of course not. Does anyone still believe it is?’read more
There were a few days during my challenge where I felt like I’d had enough. Various people had suggested to me that play can’t be scheduled and that it has to be spontaneous. I didn’t think that’s so, and I still don’t: it’s clear to me that we can deliberately make time for play if we want to.read more
A question I get asked fairly is often is – fun aside – what can you really do with play? They’re a variation on a theme, said in a way that implies it’s good and all “…but where do you go with play?” They’re asking: Play seems great. We love it. It’s fun. But it’s not really got any actual punch to it, does it?read more
At CounterPlay 2017 I had the honour of hosting a workshop with the conference’s participants in which we explored the impact that adding elements of Play would have on worklike tasks.
It was a bit different undertaking such explorations with already onboard ‘Play People’. In one activity I asked the participants to determine how we might use the last ten minutes of the session. I broke them into small groups and allocated them roles. A third simply had to discuss what they would like to do; another third had to wait a couple of minutes then start making outrageous suggestions, and the remainder took the ‘one minute left!’ warning as their cue to bring their group back to sensible ideas. They didn’t know each others’ tasks.read more