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Taking Play TOO Seriously?

Samantha Plate's picture

While reading "Taking Play Seriously" by Robin Marantz Henig, I started to become very frustrated. The psychologists in this article were taking all the fun out of playing.

I plan on majoring in Psychology, so at first I was very intrigued about the motivations behind playing. But as I realized that the psychologists were zooming-in so close and nit-pickingat every small detail, so much so that playing no longer resembled playing, I stopped wanting to read the article. I know that when it comes to psychology, if there's a behavior there's always going to be someone investigating the why. But trying to place a definition on an act that is so innnate and child-centered seeems to detract from the very nature of the word. Playing is playing. It's having fun and exploring what's around you. It's done for the exact reasons it appears to be done- to socialize, stretch the imagination, and, most importantly, because it makes people happy.

Sometimes I wish psychologists could just let some things be. I'd rather not know the chemicals involved in love or the steps involved in grieving. Some actions and emotions are just natural and they make us who we are. So please, don't take play too seriously.