54 Flavors of Fun

Kindly Fun

Twenty, maybe thirty years ago, my friend, colleague, and paragon of academic playfulness, Brian Sutton-Smith, wrote this about my book: The Well-Played Game focuses on a kind of fun that is unfortunately not normally associated with games, and certainly not with sports. I like to think of it as ‘kindly fun’ — like the fun that…

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playful flirting

“The joy of flirting is the discovery that someone might be willing to play, and laugh, and roll around ecstatically in the earth with us, spontaneously. Or at least, they would were it not for the judgement our society imposes on such behaviour and the baggage and expectations it brings, and which we bring, along…

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adventure

playground

This is one end of the Serpent Slide at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. This is the other end. “The serpent slide, located in the zoo’s Australia area (Wallaby Walkabout) is named for a long tube slide that twists in and out of the huge Yagga tree. The serpent’s “mouth” (the slide entrance) is 15-18 feet…

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just plain fun

Of all the many flavors of fun I’ve so far tasted, there’s one that doesn’t seem to have any particular flavor at all. Plain fun is what you might call it. Just plain fun. Fun with no particularly redeeming quality: not necessarily community-building, or body-building, or brain-building; not especially spiritual or transformational or educational; not significantly rational, or…

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adventuring

There’s a certain sense of adventure that seems to accompany you when you are on the playful path. Not all the time. It is yet another flavor of fun, that taste, that feeling of being on a journey through uncharted (at least by you) territory. Territories of the imagination. Hidden territories. Unexplored, dangerous territories. Aboriginal…

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braving the game

One of the things I only managed to hint at when I wrote about the playfulness/trust connection: it takes bravery to play a game. Like it takes bravery to love someone. Bravery, because the more deeply you do either, the more completely you give yourself over to the other. It’s what you have to do…

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