Ferdinando Buscema on the power of play


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/04/ferdinando-buscema-on-the-powe.html


“realize it’s play”

That’s how I get through my day.


Two words: Shore Leave



Does anyone else feel like some people “get it”, and the rest of us are doomed to wade through self help books, motivational posters, and secret of life Ted talks without ever having a sense of truley getting it?

Serious/dangerous personal issues aside, is there ever an answer or secret? If there was, wouldn’t we have already found it?

(This is not a direct commentary about this article itself)


I found mine:



The field of early childhood has been pushing play as developmentally valuable to learning, work, creativity, etc…amd, as always, the ways we aspire to treat our youngest among us, we should also treat ourselves (well, we can wipe our own asses, but you know what I mean…)


Yes, if your job sucks get a different one! :joy:


Ah yes, “think of your life, and especially your work, as play.” Such hoary nostrums always seem to waft from the untroubled lips of those who enjoy (usually unconsciously) fat dollops of unearned privilege. The nod at the end of this post to the suffering masses is too little too late. For too many of us, and for more and more and more of us, it’s just not all that easy to think of your work as play when it’s killing you.


Totally. Building on that idea, wouldn’t a great tack for someone who finds themselves in such a position be to; rather than extol others to simply “manifest” such a state - to go about investigating and promoting avenues to creating requisite conditions for greater numbers of humans to be able to share in said.

That said - it’s good advice for those that can manage a way to use it.


Hi Ferdy,

Beautifully put! Alan Watts is one of my regular reference points when seeking joyful inspiration. Or, as Terence McKenna once put it, ‘to revel in the cosmic giggle’ ! It is so tautologically obvious that play is at the centre of mammalian behaviour in the sea as well as on land. It clearly is so. It’s enough to watch dolphins, chimpanzees, cats, bears and of course humans to appreciate that play is the cornerstone of spontaneity and that spontaneity is the essence of being fully present. There is a lot of popular talk on presence from some of todays popular thinkers and public communicators. One of these, for me, is Eckard Tolle and his by now almost textbook work The Power Of Now.
As play IS at the centre of mammalian behaviour and as Edward O Wilson identified in his ground breaking work ‘On Human Nature’ - play clearly serves the player in the Darwinian
processes known as evolution. This is not mindless play however but mindful. How do we distinguish? With the level of proactive engagement in the moment. Ie, play is best played rather than merely watched, however, watching play is something we devote a lot of time and resource to.
Play is a mechanism that aides survival. Taken up into the conceptual realm, as we humans occupy a lot of time in the conceptual, it is an aide to deepen and broaden our take on the game of life. For this reason, settled societies, have, for millennia, created collective scenarios of play. Theatre, religion, sport, politics, art & literature are all examples of play with varying rules governing the shape and form of these activities. We partake and we observe. We equip ourselves with alternative takes on play as aides our own survival and to prosper and derive joy from the insights that derive from play activities.
Long live play !!!

Colin Pilkington


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.