Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
An essential reference for all game designers, this 1938 classic is “a fascinating account of ‘man the player’ and the contribution of play to civilization” (Harper’s).
In this classic evaluation of play that has become a “must-read” for those in game design, Dutch philosopher Johan Huizinga defines play as the central activity in flourishing societies. Like civilization, play requires structure and participants willing to create within limits. Starting with Plato, Huizinga traces the contribution of Homo Ludens, or “man the player” through Medieval Times, the Renaissance, and into our modern civilization. Huizinga defines play against a rich theoretical background, using cross-cultural examples from the humanities, business, and politics. Homo Ludens defines play for generations to come.
NATURE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF PLAY AS A CULTURAL PHENOMENON
THE PLAYCONCEPT AS EXPRESSED IN LANGUAGE
PLAY AND CONTEST AS CIVILIZING FUNCTIONS
PLAY AND LAW
PLAY AND WAR
PLAYING AND KNOWING
PLAY AND POETRY
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