Re: First LCHC Play Discussion Notes

From: Mike Cole (lchcmike@gmail.com)
Date: Thu Apr 14 2005 - 13:22:38 PDT


Andrew had difficulty getting the pdf of the cole and levitin paper which is
pasted
in directly below in this message. I am not sure what was in the original,
but Andrew,
your message has a ) at the end that the computer, being literal minded,
thinks is a mistake, which it is, literally speaking.

Try again without the ) after PDF.
mike

http://lchc.ucsd.edu/People/MCole/Cultural-Historical2.PDF

On 4/14/05, ababson@umich.edu <ababson@umich.edu> wrote:
>
> Hi Mike,
>
> thanks for the session notes- I tried to get this paper
>
> http://lchc.ucsd.edu/People/MCole/Cultural-Historical2.PDF)
>
> but the link was broken... help!
>
> Andrew
>
> Quoting Mike Cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>:
>
> > Robert Lecusay is having difficulty posting to XMCA (will these gremlins
> > never
> > give up the ghost and stop playing with us!!!*&&*&*#$ who-is-at %#!!!). So I get
> to
> > (he he) be the portage guy today.
> >
> > Here are the notes from the first session. We are still working at
> getting
> > more
> > relevant articles posted on xmca.
> > mike
> > ------------------
> >
> > Play worlds Meeting at LCHC
> > April 11, 2004
> >
> > Sonja Baumer Presenting
> > Readings:
> > Lindqvist The Aesthetics of Play (Chpts. 3-5)
> > Elkonin The Psychology of Play (Appendix)
> >
> > Present: Mike Cole, Deborah Wilson, Elaine Parent, Virginia Gordon,
> > Xavier, Beth Ferholt, Kristen Clark, Sonja Baumer, Kelli Moore, Robert
> > Lecusay, Christian Simmoneti, Lars Rossen, Neils Pederson, Koichi
> Haishi,
> > Don Schumman.
> >
> > Sonja began by asking everyone at the meeting to write on a piece of
> paper
> > their intuitive definition of play. She collected these and read some,
> > noting that some people defined play in terms of their own experience,
> > others negatively as the opposite of work, and others in terms of
> > suspension of disbelief. Here are some samples:
> >
> > "embodiment of imagination"
> > "the absence of stress, fun"
> > "free departure from everyday life"
> > "freedom, enjoyment, pleasure"
> > "unconscious, fictional, pretense"
> > "informal setting, another reality, lack of incentives"
> > "separation from everyday reality."
> >
> > Sonja defined play as a state of mind, an experience.
> >
> > Mike asked about the difference between games and play, to which Sonja
> > responded with a comparison of Piaget and Vygostky's ideas. Unlike play,
> > Piaget saw games as rule-bound. Vygotsky, on the other hand, viewed
> games
> > as another stage in the development of play humans enact scripts that
> > pertain to stereotypes and narratives of a particular character role.
> > Sonja concluded by defining games as characterized by explicit rules and
> > implicit imaginary situations, play by implicit rules, and explicit
> > imaginary situations.
> >
> > Deborah asked about the progression of puppy play (which seemed to have
> no
> > mental element) to play that did involve some kind of mental element
> (play
> > with humor)
> >
> > Sonja responded by highlighting an example from Bateson's What is Play?
> > (to be posted on XMCA): Chimps giving eye signals that communicate that
> > their biting is playful biting. This is a paradoxical frame in which the
> > playful bite stands for a bite but does not denote pain.
> >
> > Mike brought up Burke's "Dramatic No" (Being Human)
> >
> > Sonja continued by talking about historical changes in the perceived
> value
> > of play, noting that with the emergence of capitalism, play came to be
> > associated with childishness , whereas before (e.g. medieval), play was
> a
> > privileged activity for adults.
> >
> > Mike asked what the difference was between rules and a frame. What about
> > peek-a-boo? Is it play?
> > Sonja argued that there are some rules, expectations that are
> non-verbally
> > negotiated in peek-a-boo.
> >
> > Mike told the story of a girl (participant at the Fifth Dimension) who
> > engages in elaborate and spontaneous pretend play that reflects her
> > difficult situation at home.
> >
> > Deborah asked if in play, the back and forth between emotional and
> > intellectual states was engaged in order to eventually gain a clear
> > definition of each state.
> >
> > Mike then discussed instances in which adults could be put in positions
> > where they were uncertain about the reality of the moment (Alfred
> > Schutz?). He continued by asking, "What is it that allows people to
> create
> > and work with certain frames?" Then offered two examples: a memory of
> his
> > son playing a fantasy baseball game (not an actual game, but the
> > recreation of specific moments of a game, playing the parts of specific
> > ball players), and an anecdote about a time in U.S. baseball history
> when
> > travel was such that teams couldn't travel around as much as they do
> > today, and so radio reenactments of the games were staged (the issue of
> a
> > fully engaged audience).
> >
> > Sonja added the example of radio audiences writing letters to characters
> > asking for advice (e.g. asking the character of a doctor for medical
> > advice). Mike brought up an example of a soap opera viewer who
> physically
> > attacked an actress from the show because of the evil things she had
> done
> > on the show. Sonja: "How are people seduced into acting these ways?"
> >
> > Beth, returning to the example of a person writing for medical advice to
> > someone who plays the character of a doctor, said that part of the
> healing
> > process for people is grounded in the trust one develops for the doctor.
> > She went on to highlight similar examples from the Narnia play world.
> >
> > Kelli argued that in this situation of audience-actor, the actor, who is
> > also engaging in play, is also actually learning something when he/she,
> > for example, researches his/her part. She brought up the example of a TV
> > actor who when interviewed said that he found himself able to answer
> > medical questions from fans.
> >
> > Mike: this brings up the question of imitation
> >
> > Sonja brought up Stanislavsky: the notion that when trying to act out an
> > emotion, one needs to locate that emotion in oneself (a personal memory
> > that causes one to re-experience the emotion). In light of this, Sonja
> > noted that it was not chance that she plays the role shoe does in the
> > Narnia play world. Mike noted the Eisentstein, Stan, Vygotsky were all
> > contemporaries.
> >
> > Mike next discussed transition phenomena kids who are beginning to
> > engage in games with rules. He offered an example of a kid playing pool
> in
> > the Fifth Dimension who created new rules within the rules of the game
> > that were to his advantage (e.g. yelling "Chancies!" gives one the
> > opportunity to take another turn).
> > Sonja spoke about the relationship between imagination and thought,
> > highlighting Vygotsky's notion (discussed in Lindqvist's article) that
> > adults have more imagination than kids as a consequence of the fact that
> > they have had more experiences than kids, and thus have more resources
> to
> > draw on. Sonja argued that the research does not support this.
> >
> > Next Mike introduced the Russian term voobrazhenie (into image
> making)
> > as a lead-in to a discussion about the necessity of separation from the
> > world in order to have an experience of contrast, and therefore the
> > possibility of being able to anticipate what happens next (see Cole and
> > Levitin (1998) A Cultural Historical View of Human Nature,
> >
> http://lchc.ucsd.edu/People/MCole/Cultural-Historical2.PDF)<
> http://lchc.ucsd.edu/People/MCole/Cultural-Historical2.PDF%29>
> >
> > Sonja and Mike: Imagination is a cognitive tool that allows us to
> maintain
> > the illusion of continuity.
> >
> > Sonja: Play helps maintain an illusion of unpredictability, but enacted
> in
> > a safe space.
> >
> > Mike: Reality and fantasy are present all the time. This ties into the
> > value of moments of disruption (Yrjo Engestrom)
> >
> > Kristen: Returned to the issue of the difference in the capacity for
> > imagination between adults and kids, adults having more experience than
> > kids with social and cultural texts.
> >
> > Mike: Listed some potential areas for future play discussions: rules &
> > frame, ritual, hyperreality (Baudrillard), Stanislavsky,
> >
> > Deborah: Do autistic individuals play?
> >
> > Sonja: High functioning individuals do.
> >
> > Then there was debate (stemming from an anecdote of a Kid at the Fifth
> > Dimension) over whether Asperger's Syndrome is high functioning or low
> > functioning . . .
> >
> > Answer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger%27s_syndrome
> >
>
>



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