playing for fun

by Bernie DeKoven on September 28, 2012

The last four posts have all focused on cooperative games. Each post describes a particular type of cooperative game, some more profoundly cooperative than others. None of the games focus on winning or losing. In none of the games do people keep score. No one is ever out. The only reason to play them, the only reward, is fun, is having fun, together.

The fact is, every game is at some very basic level cooperative, whether you keep score or not. There are rules, conventions, understandings, agreements that have to be maintained throughout the game, or the game doesn’t work, no matter who, if anyone, wins.

If you take a look at my collection of Playful Games, you’ll find some games that can be called cooperative, others that border on being competitive. The one thing that they all have in common is that no one keeps score, or if anyone does keep score, no one really cares. Because the one thing, the one goal that transcends all others is to have fun, together.

This is true of all the games described on this site, of all the games I advocate, teach, demonstrate. They are all for fun. They’re all for having fun together. You can play anything for fun. You can play baseball, football, hockey, you can even wrestle for fun.

It’s a different way of playing, apparently. But it’s just as natural, just as satisfying as any other way to play – whether you play for score or for money or national standing. All this talk about cooperative games is useful, because it highlights a certain kind of game. But the truth is it doesn’t matter what kind of game you’re playing when you’re playing for fun, together.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

SummerTechie October 5, 2012 at 10:32 am

As a former teacher, and a camp Director this is such an important message to get across to the students and even sometimes the staff! We focus a large part of our staff training teaching our staff some appropriate games to play and emphasize that the activities are to be FUN and the staff should not be the ones driving the competition. (It never fails!) I really enjoyed reading through your list of games/activities and can’t wait to try some of them out with staff and students :) Thanks!

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