Before this year I never had a meaningful encounter with Ludic Theory or the idea that play could be so essential to not only life, but the progression of society. Play, for me, had always been something that was separated from the daily grind, something that continued to edge itself away from me as I got older. Play was meant for children, play was meant be separated from the work space, play was something that was akin to a chrysalis, something that needed to be shed in order for me to realize my true potential, or whatever that means. However, knowledge of Ludic Theory gained from readings like Play Makes Us Human, Homo Ludens, and The Play Pyramid brought a new world of understanding into the way in which I see play and its value in our society.
To consider the idea that play was the very foundation of society was something I was more than willing to do, and to accept that YES, play was meant to separate from the daily grind. I accepted that play demanded its own space and that play could manifest itself in an near countless amount of ways. Play could be competition. play could be organic that learning never need be part of the formula, that play could be so key to survival and progress. I accepted all of that because to me play had always been more than a meaningless distraction.
My favorite toy growing up and to this day has always been video games, favorites being Pokemon, Assassin’s Creed. or the various MMOs one could find online. To me, play meant escaping the drudgery of life, it meant knowing or exploring the rules of the world I was thrown into and then mastering them, always improving, always getting better. Play meant being in control, doing the things I liked, and blazing my own path into an unknown, but usually quickly developing future. Though video games would fall in between fantasy and challenge on the play pyramid, I always found that video games never limited me to those categories, in fact, I feel like video games hit every corner of the pyramid, and was truly endlessly diverse. Video Games allowed me to escape into the realm of Fantasy, to create new realities and to express myself through Construction, brought me to new, exciting, and beautiful Sensory worlds that existed beyond the realm of imagination, and finally, video games brought me the thrill of the challenge that is so essential to play, it taught me strive to be my best and the thrill of the reward and the feeling of victory that came with that pursuit for greatness. Video games come in all shapes and sizes and cater to children, teens, and adults of all ages, all ethnicities, and all genders, indeed I truly believe that there is a video game out there for everyone. As the world continues to grow and expand so to does the realm of video games and because of that I believe that video games are in this world to stay and indeed they will stand at the peak of the toy world for many, many years to come.