54 Flavors of Fun

Tragic Fun

alive in the face of death

Alive: In The Face of Death. Rankin Exhibition, Liverpool, 2013 from Phil kelly on Vimeo. A couple years ago, there was an exhibit called “Alive: In The Face of Death.” It was by photographer Rankin, and displayed at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool in 2013.Take a few minutes to watch the video. It’s going to lead…

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Fantasy Fun

imaginary fun

There’s a kind of fun that we had when we were kids that stays fun all our lives. It takes many forms, all of which involve the pretending. Sometimes we call it daydreaming, sometimes fantasy, sometimes imagination, sometimes it gets formalized into an art that we call theater, sometimes it stays closer to play and we call it…

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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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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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