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Deep play

Yancy's picture

I stay in the library on Friday night, with my computer. Silence is everywhere, and there is no one else in my eyes. Friday night, the wonderful night, because others take part in parties or play in their room, the library seems so spacious for me. I sip some hot milk and stare at my screen, there are massive codes here. Where is the position of the black ball? How can I move it? Can I try another structure to draw my picture? Why the light cannot turn on for some seconds? Which color is suitable? Is it beautiful my fish? At this moment, I know my spirit is concentrated in those codes. The spirit is so warm and strong to support me to continue my assignment alone in such a night. I do not care how much time I will spend in this work, and how difficult the work is. Time is passing, the milk is cooler. I just sit here silently, tapping on the keyboard. Sometimes people around me whisper to each other, chuckle to their computers or stand up to buy some coffee. The environment is not absolutely silent. But I do not care. I cannot hear anything when I am writing my codes and cannot move my eyesight away from the screen.

Writing codes seems to be very unusual in others’ eyes, especially writing in Friday night. Those codes are complicated, massive and irregular to those who never attach computer science. But in my eyes, they are regular, beautiful and creative. The code is a new language used by people to express the beauty of the world and I just need to use a simple media to turn the codes into pictures to understand the writers’ ideas. Isn’t it amazing and fantastic?

I know when I am writing codes, I experience the deep play. From the definition of Ackerman, ‘deep play is the ecstatic form of play’, ‘deep play should really be classified by mood’, and in my definition, the deep play is based on mental happiness, owns various forms and personal. (Ackerman, “Deep play”)  My mental state when experiencing the deep play confirms this definition. It is not significant the form of such play, because different people have different kinds of deep play. Sometimes, it is even hard for others to know someone is experiencing the deep play because others who do not understand the importance of the play for the player may think such behavior is terrible and abstract. This play is not open to the public, and it happens in people’s heart, in their mental world. The form of deep play is often not enjoyable physically. For example, sitting alone in front of radiation of computer for some hours to write two hundreds lines of codes, or walk and kowtow on rough mountain way to come to Tibet.

Deep play is special because of its meaning and privacy. The simple play, in my definition, is easy, interesting and fun. People choose those simple plays because they can relax in the play, and can stop if they are bored or tired. They do not have the idea that ‘I must finish it’. They can control the play freely. But deep play, for me, is lead by such idea, which means when I am in the deep play, I will not stop it although I am tired because the satisfaction in mind overcome the tiredness in body. The reason I choose the deep play is not for fun or totally based on my interests, but more complicated: first, because I am interested in such behavior, and second, I can find myself in the behavior. I write the codes is like the pilgrim look for Mekka. We both need something to find the meaning of our lives. For the first time I run my codes, I know, it is here. Also, the deep play is different from the critical play. The critical play, in most examples, is to the public. The critical players want to express their ideas by playing, but the deep play is more private because it is not necessary for others to know.

Actually not everyone can experience deep play in their lives, or they do not find it, but if they can find it, their lives may change. When people have the deep play, their mind is satisfied, their enthusiasm is high, and their concentration is precious. If such deep play happens in the school or in the work, it is really helpful. For example, one of my classmates is crazy about physics. He wants to solve the physical problems all the day without eating or saying. Although others cannot understand his behavior, he does not care. He gets the highest score in almost all the physics exams. Everyone believes he will become a great man in physics area. However, he cannot accept the best physics education because his other subjects are not good enough. The best university will not accept him because his scores in other subjects such as English or Chemistry are not enough. So, I think notice the meaning of deep play is important not only for persons but also for the whole society. Deep play helps people to find their position in the society properly.