Issue 20: Play

Play in stores now

by Zan Boag on November 5, 2017

Issue #20 ‘Play’ has arrived, you can buy a copy online or visit one of the stockists listed here.

“An hour of play reveals more than a year of conversation.” Anonymous.

At its best, play provides a spark in life, releasing us from the burden of playing ourselves. At its worst, play becomes a game to win at all costs: think Lance Armstrong’s doping or the Australian cricket team’s ball tampering. For better or for worse, play reveals us – to ourselves and to others.

Canadian philosopher Bernard Suits, in his playful book Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia, in which a Socratic grasshopper seeks to prove the value of play, wrote that a game is “the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles”. But why would we set unnecessary obstacles to overcome?

Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute of Play, argues that we do so because play is “the vital essence of life” and “the basis of what we think of as civilisation”. Suits’s grasshopper is no less effusive, arguing that game-playing is the supreme intrinsic good; that in utopia the central activity would be to play games. Whether it’s the main game or just a sideshow, it’s hard to deny the importance of play. Whatever the case, it couldn’t hurt to take the grasshopper’s advice and, every now and then, just go outside and play.

—Zan Boag, Editor, New Philosopher


You can buy a copy online or visit one of the stockists listed here.

What’s inside:

The yips ~ David Papineau
What is a game? ~ Nigel Warburton
The creative mind ~ Marina Benjamin
War minus the shooting ~ George Orwell
Being outside yourself ~ Simon Critchley
Prisoner’s dilemma ~ Steven Kuhn
Be a winner ~ Mariana Alessandri
13 questions: Hilary Lawson
All work and no play ~ Peter Strain
The promise of play ~ Oliver Burkeman
Just a game? ~ Patrick Stokes
Risk ~ Existential Comics
Metaphysics of Federer ~ David Foster Wallace
A form of tribalism ~ Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore
Let the kids out ~ Tiffany Jenkins
The seriousness of play ~ Emily Ryall
Bread and circuses ~ André Dao
In praise of idleness ~ Bertrand Russell
The Pied Piper ~ Robert Browning
A space for care ~ Sally Cloke
Competitive camping ~ Phiona Stanley
Embracing leisure ~ Tim Dean
Play like a child ~ Ed Smith

You can buy a copy online or visit one of the stockists listed here.

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