Play for Life: Play Theory and Play as Emotional Survival
"Sutton-Smith embraced play more fully than any other contemporary thinker and changed the way generations will imagine the topic. A profoundly important theorist of play, he was also a diligent observer of how children actually play, and he collected their songs, stories, rhymes, jokes, and game rules from across the world. Most of all, he was a strong-minded advocate for allowing children to play freely, arguing that they have a right to interact on their own terms away from controlling impulses of adults. By training an educational psychologist, by inclination a folklorist, and by any reckoning a great scholar, Sutton-Smith in the last moments of his career speaks his mind on the true nature and real importance of this many-faceted phenomenon. He argues that play is more than a game for the young or a pastime for adults or a recreation for sports enthusiasts. Instead, it allows us to display our most basic existential challenges in culturally coherent and socially manageable forms. Indeed, it is the ambition of all players, claims Sutton-Smith, to transform the world, to rename it on terms that allow them--and all of use who join them--to thrive."--Jacket.
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