Stuart Brown's Theory Of Play

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Stuart Brown, a play researcher, thinks that is how play was at that time with all ages and he mentioned we ‘lost something in our culture.’ He states play is not exclusive for children, but stays essential on our whole phase of life. ‘Play is a state of mind, rather than an activity’ (Brown, 2009).

Darwin’s theory of evolution had an impact on the earliest modern theories on play. Play is part of our evolutionary history (Brown, 2009). However, these theories were focused mainly on animal and the play of children (Zimna, 2010).

The experience of play as we know it from childhood describes play as: ‘joyful, non-serious, sometimes mysterious, or irrational and opposed to the sphere of purposeful adults’ activities’ (Zimna, 2010).

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Hence, ‘play’ was not only in comparison with children, adults were also involved in the definition of play.

Gwen Gordon mentioned in ‘What is Play?’ that ‘play does not have to disappear within adulthood. It only diminishes when we resist adulthood and confuse our development with the increase in seriousness instead of the increase in dimensions of play’ (p-15, 2008).

Dr. Ellis, Founder of the Play Research Lab, considered play as a behavior by an individual that is not motivated by the end product of the behavior; it is assumed to be free. A player needs to step out of the ordinary life and a player is always aware of the border between ‘reality’ and activities in the world of play or the ‘only pretending’ mode of behavior (Zimna, 2010). The most forms of play are recognizable if it has the message ‘this is play’ (Bateson, 1974; Stewart,
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A psychical game as soccer where full body movement is required can be fun for one, but for a player who broke his ankle during this psychical game the joy could be far away. Play is an activity which is joyful, relaxing and actions by the player do not have influences on real life. The freedom of play is absent in any activity that has become rigid or involves pain, even if it started out as play (Gordon, 2008). Breaking an ankle during the psychical game soccer is not play anymore, because it does have influence on real life. The experience of play can be positive for one, however another person will not see it as play. ‘Play is what we decide it to be’ (Zimna,
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