The Idea of Play

Silhouette, group of happy children playing on meadow, sunset, s

What exactly is play? Why do all living creatures decide to play? Presented to us, by Peter Gray, play is simply to react to others and gain social skills. It is also used to learn about life and how to solve problems.

I will be presenting to you what happens when we are play deprived, how play has changed over time, and what we can do to change things using the sources of Peter Gray and a podcast from RadioLab. Just imagine a world without play. How would we get to know other kids in our neighborhoods, or meet our childhood friends? Without the play, we can’t socially bond with people. For some reason, when we play and share our common interests, we can bond more than simply talking through the phone or face to face. We can learn life lessons and encounter life problems that can be solved and revisited again in the future.

Play has greatly changed over time partly because of the change in technology. However, I don’t think the idea of play has changed solely because of technology. I had teachers and parents who told me that their play time was spent outside. They had the freedom of going wherever they wanted causing trouble that could be fixed later. Nowadays, many are afraid of consequences and “getting things wrong.” School has been upgrading to a whole new level forcing us to have less time to play and more time to study. Play then becomes harder to access, and that’s where technology comes in to play. Technology gives us a more convenient way to play. The only downside is that we are suppressed to only a group of people and can rarely meet new ones. I am a gamer and I don’t go outside much, but when I do I only “play” with my same group of friends. In addition, technology has increased narcissism, as presented by Peter Gray.

When playing videogames, there are people called “toxic.” These type of people will blame everything on you if you cause the team to lose or cause problems. Bullying has not only appeared in real play but has traveled into video games. However,  bullying in games are more prominent than real life play. Kids who play in real life enjoy one another and don’t hate as much as they do online. Everything is all about “ourselves” and it can be seen in school as well. Students only care about grades and achieving their own dreams. We use one another to rather than work with one another.

Lastly, the ways we can solve this problem is simple. Many of these suggestions are already presented in the video. We can have certain periods of the day solely for kids to play, end the idea of homework and competitive learning, and find ways to implement technology to our play outside. The task to do so will be difficult because society cannot simply change in an instant. As a result,  Peter Gray’s Global School Play Day is a suggestion to enjoy playing with other students.

I’ve experienced this “play day” recently when I had one period to play. I enjoyed the fact that we got to play and casually say things that we can’t to unknown people. I met some new people, but didn’t really experience a “friendship” just casual play. Maybe if there was more time than the friend “status” would be different. I brought cards hoping to play some games, which we did, but not as many games because of the lack of time. Instead we played with a volleyball and listened to another student playing guitar. A song that I recognized was One from Metallica. (Hopefully it was that song I don’t really recall but it sounded the similar).

I love the music that this bad makes because it was played frequently in my house by my dad. All in all, play is something that is on the verge of extinction because of its difficult access. If we were given more time in our lives to enjoy play I have a feeling that more people would become less stressed about going to school and enjoy there time at both school and home.


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