“Play-deprived adults are often rigid, humorless, inflexible and closed to trying out new options. Playfulness enhances the capacity to innovate, adapt and master changing circumstances. It is not just an escape. It can help us integrate and reconcile difficult or contradictory circumstances. And, often, it can show us a way out of our problems. There are numerous examples of difficult, deadlocked negotiations that were broken open by a joke or humorous incident. Many people have had the experience of coming back from vacation brimming with new ideas for work. The benefits of play come not from “rest” for the brain, as if play is just a time-out from life. Play is an active process that reshapes our rigid views of the world.” Stuart Brown, author of Play (due out 25th June in the UK), The New York Times, 2nd September 2009. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/02/let-the-children-play-some-more/
Brown studied the ‘play histories’ of 6000 adults’ , so maybe he knows a thing or two about just how important play is to the child, and to the adult. The crunch seems to come when the concept of play is squashed in adult life, particularly in the work environment. Sober suited and booted employees seem to erase all memory of what it means to play. All the humour, fun and feeling of being totally absorbed in whatever game is being played often goes out of the window. Along with creativity.
So maybe it’s time to unknot those brows by creating a different environment at work? One which allows play time?