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I recently introduced my cousin to sphero, a programmable robotic ball.
His feeling young again when he was playing with sphero made me sad because how could he possibly feel old when he is only 10?! Is it not too soon for him to feel like he isn’t playing enough, and so when he does, it makes him feel like the days of play were so far away??
I talk about and advocate for play often, but I often still find it challenging to practice and actively make space for it. For example, I recently began working on a project for Singapore Art Week, exploring the playfulness in toy instruments, and trying to create a narrative for it. Perhaps it was a combination of getting back into creating art for the public and not managing my expectations of how tough building a story would be for me, but I struggled. I struggled hard.
Everything I drew felt so stiff and severe. I kept going because sometimes the only way out was through. But the more I looked at the work, the more it felt like someone was pretending to play because they would be graded for how playful they could be. I stopped looking at it for 3 days. Then I decided to be done feeling stuck (and also had a deadline to meet) and went all in with no expectations, no overintellectualizing and allowed myself to run with an idea and see where it took me. No expectations; just following the process and keeping myself open to possibilities. Nothing too small or too silly. That's what playing is. I finished the story in 1 hour.
I hope you keep throwing your ideas out in the world, no matter how silly or loud they are. The sillier and louder they are, the better.
Just one silly little (best viewed on desktop) play-thing today: