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[Xmca-l] Re: Fun &Games



I think the distinction between play and fun is a really difficult one to
pin down, but one that I am also interested in. Bateson presents play as a
kind of metacommunicative frame for an activity. ( I may be
mis-remembering, but I believe ‘play’ is actually the concept he uses to
illustrate his perspective on framing). This view seems to treat play in
opposition to reality. In your example - shucking corn could perhaps be
viewed as ‘play’ if the object of the activity were something other than
simply shucking corn (a competition, an act of pretend, etc).

Fun, to me, seems to be more about one’s engagement with an activity and
doesn’t necessarily depend on the activity’s status as ‘play’ or ‘not
play’. If play involves the meta-structure of an activity, then maybe ‘fun’
is more associated with emotion, motivation and engagement. Play and fun
are often thrown around in museum contexts as ideals for engaging young
visitors, but I’m not aware of any work to conceptualize or distinguish
them. If anyone has some suggested readings, i would definitely be
interested. Fun question!

rolf

On Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 7:34 AM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Mike,
> I think David was just having a little fun with your post.
>
> But seriously (i.e., no fun ;-( ), I'm wondering a bit about what "fun" is?
> How do you define it? Are you defining it Justice Potter
> Stewart--pornography style? (Okay, now I'm having fun!).
>
> So what is it?
>
> And, more importantly, are we having fun (yet)?
>
> -greg
>
> On Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 3:47 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>
> > Hi David--
> >
> > I was just beginning to wonder if anyone had any interest in my question
> > about play and fun.
> >
> > I found a lot interesting about your note, but I fear that, perhaps
> because
> > of the specific framework you are using to interpret the question, the
> > answer does not seem to help much. I was including preschoolers in my
> badly
> > formed notion of an age range of humans.
> >
> > I had two 7 year olds over last weekend. They were adamently NOT
> interested
> > in doing any household chores, but they sure had fun shucking corn for
> > dinner and even want to wash the car, but drought conditions forbid
> > it. My wife and I have fun trying to finish the Times crossword puzzle,
> > congratulating outselves when we make it to Wednesday. And I often have
> fun
> > cooking snacks for kids at the afterschool center where I used to have a
> > presumably serious minded task at hand. Not play. Not a game. But fun.
> >
> > It can happen, I surmise, during any part of a stable developmental phase
> > or at the beginning, middle, or end, of a crisis (despite the negative
> > emotional connotations of the word).
> >
> > Maybe to vague a wondering to be useful.
> > Happy to discuss the topics you raise, but how about a header change?
> >
> > mike
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 2:24 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Mike:
> > >
> > > In our presentation over the summer in Kangwondo, we tried to consider
> > > various forms of the "next zone of development" as diagnostic rather
> than
> > > pedagogical devices. That is, we tried to take seriously the idea tha
> the
> > > Zoped is not a "zone of proximal development" or a "zone of pedogogical
> > > development" but rather a zone of pedalogical development, a way of
> > > diagnosing what the child's next zone of development. This seems like
> an
> > > important thing to do; without it, the tendency to reduce the Zoped to
> a
> > > teaching/learning device rather than a developmental diagnostic (as
> > > Vygotsky intended it) is hard to resist.
> > >
> > > When we read Vygotsky's unfinished papers on "Child Development"
> (Volume
> > > Four of the Russian Collected Works and also the 2001 "Lectures on
> > > Pedology" published in Izhevsk) we get the impression that the schedule
> > of
> > > development that Vygotsky had in mind is both too delicate and not
> > delicate
> > > enough. It's too delicate because, for example, you have the crisis at
> > > seventeen which occurs right in the middle of a stable age (puberty)
> > after
> > > which the child apparently simply goes on with the stable age--we can
> > only
> > > explain this by the circumstance, peculiar to the USSR of the time,
> that
> > at
> > > seventeen youth were required to decide whether they were going to
> leave
> > > school and work or enter a preparatory school for higher education.
> It's
> > > not delicate enough because, for example, the Age of Infancy overlaps
> > with
> > > the Crisis at One by at least two months (ten months to twelve months)
> > > during which time some very important changes are taking place in the
> > > child's semantics (according to Halliday, 2002, "The Language of Early
> > > Childhood").
> > >
> > > There's a way out. Vygotsky also says that the critical periods have a
> > > three part structure (pre-peak, peak, and post-peak) and the stable
> > periods
> > > a two part structure (early and late).  In addition, the neoformation
> > which
> > > defines each age period emerges at the END of the age period and not
> the
> > > beginning. So the next zone of development not only predicts the gross
> > > changes of child development which we now simply predict using the
> > calendar
> > > (Infancy, Crisis at One, Early Childhood, Crisis at Three, Preschool,
> > > etc.) but also the next phase within each period. It can do this by
> > tracing
> > > the child's progress along a main line of development (we called this a
> > > "central line of development" when you, me and Andy were working on
> > Volume
> > > Four, but I notice in the pedalogical lectures that Vygotsky prefers
> the
> > > term "main line of development"). This means the diagnostic next zone
> of
> > > development (that diagnostic Zoped) actually predicts both the next age
> > > stage (the "objective" ZPD, to use Chaiklin's terminology) and the next
> > > step within each age period (what Chaiklin calls the "subjective" one).
> > >
> > > Speech is the main line of development only in early childhood. But
> after
> > > early childhood the main lines of development turn out to be various
> > forms
> > > of verbal thinking (negation at three, play in preschool, "clowning
> > > around" at seven,  and conscious awareness and mastery at school age,
> > > concept development in puberty). This really makes perfect sense:
> > > development is, at least at the beginning of each period,  more about
> > > differentiation than about growth. So if we apply this little insight
> to
> > > the problem you name--the problem of having fun, play, and games--we
> > obtain
> > > a process of differentiation: games are a form of play (but not all
> play
> > is
> > > a game), play is a form of having fun (but not all fun is play).
> > >
> > > In our Kangwando presentation we used a rather course method to
> > > differentiate having fun, play, and games: rote, role, and rule. Rote
> > play
> > > is "having fun", or what Vygotsky calls "quasi-play", that is,
> > sensorimotor
> > > repetition, something which never goes away from play  but which
> > transfers
> > > its functions upward to role play. Role play is the creation of an
> > > imaginary situation, but it is an imaginary situation in which the
> rules
> > > are imaginary and not explicitly stated and objectively shared. Only
> rule
> > > play--that is, formal games--represents the final form of preschool
> play:
> > > rote play (having fun) and role play (imaginary play) are transitional
> > > forms which do not die out but which transfer their functions to higher
> > > forms as they arise.
> > >
> > > David Kellogg
> > >
> > > On Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 12:47 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> > >
> > > > I have been led to wonder -- what is the relationship between having
> > fun
> > > > and playing.  How do they differ? Does their relationship, if they
> are
> > > not
> > > > reducible one to the other, change over the course of development?
> Odd
> > > how
> > > > the category of fun is absent from developmental discourse.
> > > > Mike
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > >
> > > > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
> > > > object that creates history. Ernst Boesch
> > > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> >
> > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
> > object that creates history. Ernst Boesch
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>