- Beyond Boredom and Anxiety, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is one of his earliest published accounts of his experiments in search of flow. Though the accounts of the research itself are scientifically joyless, the insights and conclusions are positively inspiring. His more recent book, Flow, the Psychology of Optimal Experience is a more accessible recapitulation of his earlier findings.
Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary
– “…Torvalds’ real genius lies not so much in his programming abilities, though those are extraordinary, but in his capacity for that thing so many of us never learn to do: have fun. Fun, Torvalds believes, is at heart very far from the frivolous thing capitalism and religion have made it out to be. Fun is, rather, the highest form of human behavior, the thing that comes after survival and community, the thing, in other words, that not only makes life worth living, but is – or ought to be – a lifestyle in itself.
- Fun Works: Leslie Yerkes makes a major contribution to those of us who believe that it is actually possible for work to be fun: case studies, stories, eleven “principles” for making work fun, and vice versa
Managing to Have Fun
is Matt Weinstein’s artful collection of actually fun things managers have managed to do in the name of work. His stories of the silly, good-hearted things they’ve done are entertaining, empowering and inspiring. Not profound. Not transforming. But definitely funniferous.*
- The Games Bible if you are looking for a big collection of often very funny games, Leigh Anderson’s Games Bible is something like a religious experience.
- Improv Games for Performers – a handbook of games for dedicated improvisers
- Indoor Games for Children and Young People (1912)
- The Boys Book of Sport and Games (1809)
- Deep Fun – highly recommended collection of games for youth leaders
- Parlour Games for Modern Families – a guide to sheer hilarity
- Bob Gregson’s Incredible Indoor Games Book: One Hundred and Sixty Group Projects, Games and Activities is a loving and lovely collection of creative, collaborative, family-building fun. His Outrageous Outdoor Games Book carries theme of collaborative creative play to, well, the outdoors. His most most recent contribution, Take Part Art, proves a valuable addition to this treasury of creativity.
The New Games Book
is a recipe for throwing a party for an entire community. It conveys a spirit of play and openness that reflects the best of the early 70’s. More New Games
is a valuable extension to theme, as long as you already own The New Games Book
- Games for Actors and Non-Actors “A genuinely inspiring handbook packed with games, exercises, methods and techniques from the world-famous author of Theatre of the Oppressed.”
Improvisation for theatre
by Viola Spolin is an excellent introduction to the use of theater games with children, and for me the foundation of my exploration of children’s games and play. Her “Seven Aspects of Spontaneity” in theoritical part of the book is a most insightful introduction to play and creativity, and worth the price of the book alone
- Nothing About Us Without Us: building instructions for a community playground for all abilities
- The Romance of Sound and Senses: Ken Feit’s poetic word play (PDF download)