Looking back over the past, say, thirty years, future historians might think it distinctly queer that we have spent so much effort and time in promoting a view of play that is somewhat to the side of what we value, what we believe: that is, the non-instrumental value of play.
But who are ‘we’? ‘We’ are those who hold that play is its own justification, that it is an expression of, and initiation into an idea of freedom. That its outcome is itself. That it is a state of mind, a state of being.
It is that the player is sovereign in their own self-created world. Play may have instrumental value in the pursuit of extrinsic goals, but it may not; in any case there are plenty of other ways to achieve any amount of extrinsic goals that, really, play should not need to bother itself about that. Adherence to this way of thinking is beyond, or before, any evidence that might be adduced in its favour. Evidence here is redundant, this because for those holding the above as true and necessary, it is beyond refutation. Continue reading