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Play Overdose

hannah's picture

I think maybe, as with all things, one can overdose on play.

I don't mean that play is a bad thing in and of itself. I mean that, just as food is not inherently a bad thing and yet people still overeat, play is not a bad thing and yet one can still "overplay". Play-as-preparation is a popular theory, but it assumes that the player is preparing for something else, something that is not play. The play-as-preparation model doesn't work if play is the end goal... it only works if play is the prerequisite, or counter-balance, of the actual end goal. This end goal can be adulthood, or work, or a more imaginative and creative lifestyle. But it is not more play.

The modern world places a high value on pleasure, and so play-as-the-pursuit-of-pleasure could also be supported. But again, it needs to be balanced with something else -- purposeful, focused activity to counter the free spontaneity of play -- or at least done in moderation.