One huge thing that has had a great influence on my life is my interest in human play. It started about 7 years ago. Back then, I came across a book. Finite and Infinite Games by James P Carse. I discovered a great insight in this book. It invited the idea that...
...PLAY IS A FUNDAMENTAL STATE OF BEING.
Whether we play by the rules or play with the rules, these are the two defining states of play, Finite or Infinite. Some obvious examples of finite games (or play) are sport and societal structures. It is common play and it is often what we identify play to be. These Play types are fantastic for challenging us. It brings us together, exchange and develop skills. Its a catalyst for being mindful, connecting us to the task and often gives us a sense of belonging.
Infinite play on the other hand, is more abstract. Infinite play has no start nor end. It is limitless and obtuse. Infinite play, plays for the sake of just playing. Infinite play doesn't aim to win and is not set on outcomes. The infinite player always keeps the game in play. This, I feel, is a play that generates extraordinary and innovative thinking. I love it.
Finite and Infinite Games became the underpinning of how I view a career in design and how I view my life. Since then, I have collected texts and other bits of information, which I am keen to share.
Fitting into place in the world has always had challenge for me. Paradoxically, I’m hardly alone with that one. I do like to stay on track, I like to move forward, I like my productivity to match my generation of ideas. I like to be self able. To be of use to others. To be generous with others. To understand life better and find optimal happiness. That is what I like.
I shape my life to be as optimal as choice will allow me to have it. I pick up books that offer new perspectives and constantly re-jig my centre of focus. But no matter the book, I am always astonished by the way the subject always returns to philosophy of PLAY.
"If you know that you are just playing, you can have fun with it. You can approach your life in a spirit of curiosity and discovery, of humour and experimentation. After all you are the creator of your reality and you can change it" - Thresholds of the Mind 2009
The way I see it. I am a complex human being and I don’t have a religion. Guidance, self or external, is essential for progress. For that reason, I have decided to embrace the same qualities that are often celebrated in spiritual practice. Social connection, Ritual, Education and Devotion... BUT... I want to excercise this through PLAY.
So, as this blog begins, each week I am going to church. The Church of Play. I’m going to be dedicated to this ritual and I am going to write about it religiously. Stories long or short, I am keen to share my playful findings through my own creative practice. My document as I develop a playful state of being.
Both in action and in writing, I am committing to entertain ideas of play. So, today, before I started my writing, my religious practice began with this:
They're colour paper cutouts. Trying to retain lots of freedom of form making, I clashed these with colour and other form. Sometimes complimentary, sometimes not. They are little conscious schisms. They're an exercise in dampening perfectionism. They're were fun. And now I just want to make big ones...