Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games

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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. We all know these words, but do we really understand what it means to play? How can we ensure we’re making the most of playtime, both for our children and ourselves?

Play Anything is a one-stop workshop for how to play in the 21st century. It’s all built around the idea that idleness isn’t the same as relaxing or creative play. Games are built out of restrictions and play arises from limitations. It’s slightly counterintuitive, but a fascinating concept that Bogost explores in depth. In one chapter, he debunks Mary Poppins’ ideas on play; in another, he poses the idea that children are a model adults should strive for since kids are constantly compromising and adjusting to a world where the rules can seem arbitrary and unfair.

And who better than the man who created the most inane game of our time — Cow Clicker — to explore the unexpected and downright weird highways and byways of how to play in a constructive, meaningful, and healthy way? Play Anything is a manifesto, and it declares that more recess is good for the soul. Maybe pick this one up in your off-time.


Reviewed By:

Author Ian Bogost
Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Basic Books
Publish Date 2016-09-13
ISBN 9780465051724
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2016
Category Technology
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