Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture

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Beacon Press, Jun 1, 1971 - Social Science - 232 pages
4 Reviews
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An essential reference for all game designers, this 1938 classic is “a fascinating account of ‘man the player’ and the contribution of play to civilization” (Harper’s)
 
In this classic evaluation of play that has become a “must-read” for those in game design, Dutch philosopher Johan Huizinga defines play as the central activity in flourishing societies. Like civilization, play requires structure and participants willing to create within limits. Starting with Plato, Huizinga traces the contribution of Homo Ludens, or “man the player” through Medieval Times, the Renaissance, and into our modern civilization. Huizinga defines play against a rich theoretical background, using cross-cultural examples from the humanities, business, and politics. Homo Ludens defines play for generations to come.
 

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Review: Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture

User Review  - Sabot - Goodreads

Contains some interesting ideas, but felt like a slog at times. I considered putting it down and moving on but I'm still glad I stuck it out. The two star rating is based entirely on the "it was OK" caption so don't let it dissuade you from picking this book up. Read full review

Review: Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture

User Review  - Michael Murray - Goodreads

Ok, yes, I am really enjoying this. A lovely style to the writing, I know it is a translation, but it seems a happy one for once. ' every student of Germanic law knows the passage in Old Frisian Law ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

NATURE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF PLAY AS A CULTURAL PHENOMENON
1
THE PLAYCONCEPT AS EXPRESSED IN LANGUAGE
28
PLAY AND CONTEST AS CIVILIZING FUNCTIONS
46
PLAY AND LAW
76
PLAY AND WAR
89
PLAYING AND KNOWING
105
PLAY AND POETRY
119
THE ELEMENTS OF MYTHOPOIESIS
136
PLAYFORMS IN PHILOSOPHY
146
PLAYFORMS IN ART
158
WESTERN CIVILIZATION SUB SPECIE LUDI
173
THE PLAYELEMENT IN CONTEMPORARY CIVILIZATION
195
INDEX
214
Copyright

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About the author (1971)

"Johan Huizinga (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjoːɦɑn ˈɦœyzɪŋɣaː]) (December 7, 1872 – February 1, 1945), was a Dutch historian and one of the founders of modern cultural history." (amazon.com)