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Rewrite Deep Play

Mindy Lu's picture

 Rewrite Deep Play

I am in a daze, sitting in front of my laptop, my eyes staring at the photo of my little cousin Sam on the screen, thinking about that I would never notice that I did a kind of “ deep play” with him before without taking this course and reading the article by Ackerman.

Play is an activity enjoyed for its own sake, while deep play is the ecstatic form of play, which is a fascinating hallmark of being human. (Ackerman) With my own experience, I state the definition of deep play as a kind of play that not only bring fun, but also express something deep inside the players. During most of my playtime, I just have fun—search the Internet, play games or do some sports without think deeply and express anything from my heart. However, when I played hide-and-seek, the common game which seems may not be consider as a deep play, I thought much more than the game itself and did a deep play.

“Five, four, three, two, one …… I am coming!”

I still remember that it was my first time to play hide-and –seek with Sam, a five-years-old boy. I was a seeker and he was a hider. Actually, it was extremely easy for me to find him—he was hidden under the quilt and his back was like a little hill on the bed. Thus, I walked to the bed directly and opened the quilt quickly without any hesitation. I felt proud to be “clever” to find him while he looked a little bit embarrassed and upset. Looking at his bright eyes with depressiveness, I suddenly realized that I had made a mistake—I should not play this game so seriously.

I though of those days my parents played hide-and-seek with me when I was 5 years old, and that was a kind of “deep play”I even left my slippers on the floor in front of the clothespress in which I hided. However, my parents never exposed me directly like I did to my cousin. Instead, they acted like that my technique of hiding was wise enough to avoid their carefully searching. More often than not, they talked to each other loudly to make sure that I could hear clearly: “Where is she? I have no idea at all!”,“She is quite a talent hider!”. Every time I heard such words, I could not control myself and laughed out loud. Even though, my parents would never “find” me until I jumped out by myself.

Stopped recalling my memory of childhood, I began to understand that the game I played was not as simple as it looked like. Different way to play could lead to different result and if I did not care about to be a winner, the result would be better, such as I could make my cousin happy and set up his confidence. Therefore, I decided to change my way to play this game. I went to him and persuaded him to play one more time by giving him a lollipop, and he agreed reluctantly. This time, he hided behind the curtain and, as usual, I saw his feet at once. Nevertheless, I did not point it out immediately, but behaved like my parents did before.

“Where is him? I cannot find him! That is impossible!” I shout aloud.

Faintly, I heard his laughter but ignored.

“How smart he is! I think I have to give up…” I kept acting and felt much more proud than the last time, and that was my first time to felt happier to be a loser than when I was I winner.

“Aha! I am here!” Finally, Sam jumped out of the curtain. He looked so excided and cheerful, just like I had been when my parents played with me before.

This experience of  “deep play” impacts me a lot. As the definition I stated in the first paragraph that deep play should be able to express something deeply inside the players, I not only had fun but also expressed my love to my cousin inside my heart when I played with him.


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Ackerman, Diane, Chapter One. Deep Play. New York: Random House, 1999.