Latest Issue of the American Journal of Play
Explores Play in the Age of Information
Now Accessible Free Online at journalofplay.org.
How has computation changed play? In the latest issue of the American Journal of Play, Miguel Sicart, associate professor at the Center for Computer Game Research at IT University Copenhagen, explores the relationship between computation and play in the Age of Information.
Sicart establishes that play describes the creation of worlds with other players and often with the aid of props such as games or toys. Play is not valuable for its utility, but rather for its own purposefulness. Sicart claims that computers too are valuable beyond their immediate utility. Sicart focuses on the concept of reontologization—the process of transforming information. Computers have fostered “a transition from analogue to digital data” and have, therefore, created a new world. Play is also reontologizing because it is appropriative, autotelic, and expressive. Play translates a situation, context, space, and time into the scene or instrument of play, has its own negotiated purpose, and is produced or performed with a personal touch. Just as computers have created a world in which we consume information differently, play creates a world in which we can express ourselves in a new way. Such similarities explain the merging of computation and play in the rise of video games.
Sicart frames his ideas with the stories told in the classic novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Quixote creates and inhabits an imaginary world in permanent clash with the actual world. Sicart believes that to comprehend the complexity of play, we must understand Quixotean Play: play capable of engaging with and appropriating reality regardless of resistance. Recognizing play within this new context will allow us to understand play as a form of expression in the Age of Information.
Additional articles in Vol. 10, No. 3 of the American Journal of Play include:
“Problem Gaming: A Short Primer,” by Thomas E. Gorman, Douglas A. Gentile, and C. Shawn Green.
“The Physical Environment for Play Therapy with Chinese Children,” by Yih-Jiun Shen, Slyvia Z. Ramirez, Peter L. Kranz, Xinhua Tao, and Yuanhong Ji.
“Developing a Dramatic Pretend Play Game Intervention” by Thalia R. Goldstein.
The American Journal of Play, an interdisciplinary scholarly journal devoted solely to the study of play, is published by The Strong in Rochester, New York.
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U.S. Play Coalition Now Accepting Nominations for 2018 Outstanding Researcher and Youth Practitioner AwardsPosted: November 21, 2017
Subject: Now Accepting Nominations for 2018 Outstanding Researcher and Youth Practitioner Awards
The U.S. Play Coalition is now accepting nominations for its 2018 awards program, recognizing outstanding play research and youth practitioners. First awarded at the 2017 Conference on the Value of Play, this new awards program honors exceptional individuals each year. The winners not only receive a physical award, but also have conference fees paid, hotel accommodations and up to $500 in travel to attend the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play. Deadline for nominations is 11:59pm EST on December 15. Learn more online at
Article in the Atlantic says being overprotective of kids creates more problems. Kids need risk to learn and grow and deal with risk later in life.Posted: May 21, 2014
Subtitle says it all! “A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.”
You must read the article. I won’t try and paraphrase what a great job the author did. Here are some quotes from the article: The Overprotected Kid
It’s hard to absorb how much childhood norms have shifted in just one generation. Actions that would have been considered paranoid in the ’70s—walking third-graders to school, forbidding your kid to play ball in the street, going down the slide with your child in your lap—are now routine.
One very thorough study of “children’s independent mobility,” conducted in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods in the U.K., shows that in 1971, 80 percent of third-graders walked to school alone. By 1990, that measure had dropped to 9 percent, and now it’s even lower.
Over the years, the official consumer-product handbook has gone through several revisions; it is now supplemented by a set of technical guidelines for manufacturers. More and more, the standards are set by engineers and technical experts and lawyers, with little meaningful input from “people who know anything about children’s play,” says William Weisz, a design consultant who has sat on several committees overseeing changes to the guidelines.
“Reasonable risks are essential for children’s healthy development,” says Joe Frost, an influential safety crusader.
Children, she concluded, have a sensory need to taste danger and excitement; this doesn’t mean that what they do has to actually be dangerous, only that they feel they are taking a great risk.
And all adults also!
We might accept a few more phobias in our children in exchange for fewer injuries. But the final irony is that our close attention to safety has not in fact made a tremendous difference in the number of accidents children have. According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which monitors hospital visits, the frequency of emergency-room visits related to playground equipment, including home equipment, in 1980 was 156,000, or one visit per 1,452 Americans. In 2012, it was 271,475, or one per 1,156 Americans.
I love this quote.
“The advent of all these special surfaces for playgrounds has contributed very little, if anything at all, to the safety of children,” he told me. Ball has found some evidence that long-bone injuries, which are far more common than head injuries, are actually increasing.
Is it Risk Homeostasis or is it that kids don’t know or care about surfaces, they just need to have fun!
“There’s a fear” among parents, Roger Hart told me, “an exaggeration of the dangers, a loss of trust” that isn’t clearly explainable.
Wow, very interesting.
If a mother is afraid that her child might be abducted, her ironclad rule should not be Don’t talk to strangers. It should be Don’t talk to your father.
This is simply life. It probably at some point in time was said thousands of times a day. Now hearing it once is enough to be quoted in an article. The conversation is between two kids.
“You might fall in the creek,” said Christian.
“I know,” said Gideon.
For once there is an article about children playing that did not talk about the harm of computers. Why because children who have the opportunity to play don’t want to spend time on computers. Play is more fun. It is more fun to go out and explore than to shoot something on a screen!
However what is described in the article just sounds like my life growing up. Getting skinned knees and bruises was called growing up. We learned first aid on ourselves. This worked, this burned and this made a mess and did not help.
Read the Article!
What do you think? Leave a comment.
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|When fall arrives, how do you picture your kids? Will they be front and center taking nature walks and hunting for colorful leaves? Most likely they won’t. Studies show kids today spend far less time outdoors than their parents did — help change that by registering for Hike & Seek!Register now for NWF’s Hike & Seek, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at South Platte Park on September 29, and enjoy activity stations, live animals, naturalists, crafts and more, especially for toddlers to children age 10 and their grown-ups. This year, kids will have the opportunity to communicate through echolocation (just like bats!), build a bug box, and make bird calls. You can even meet everyone’s favorite raccoon, Ranger Rick—all while supporting NWF programs that get kids out doors and into healthier lifestyles.
Register now at As soon as you register, you’ll receive a link to your personal online Participant Center so you can plan your hike and have the opportunity to fundraise. Sign up today. You’ll be thrilled with what develops.
Senior Manager, Special Events
PS: Don’t forget to fundraise! Check out our incentives page and see our great prizes.