TED Talks on Play


Many of us enjoy and find inspiration in TED Talks. You may be surprised how many TED Talks are about the importance of play. Some are posted below. Also interesting is that few of the speakers are part of our industry. Ted

We need to find ways to promote play as something good for you like eating vegetables. (Have you had your four to six servings of play today?)  You’ve heard me say that toy/game inventors should be celebrated as authors, musicians, chefs, etc. Celebrating our inventors publicly is just one way to raise the profile of our industry and the importance of play.

Steve Keil and other TED speakers believe play can change the world for the better. It is documented that it can make you healthier, smarter, more productive, more social and happier (did you know most serial killers did not play as children – check out Stuart Brown’s TED talk).

Steve says we need a Play Revolution and that it can revitalize the economy, education and society. I’m with him. Watch his video below.

TED Talks on play. Bios taken from TED:

Steve Keil: A Manifesto for Play, for Bulgaria and Beyond Ted - steve

Steve says:

-We need a revolution. That the more we play, the bigger our brains are… and we develop more emotional maturity if we play more.

-We develop better decision-making ability if we play more. 

-Bears that play more survive longer, not the bears that learn how to fish better.


Hillel Cooperman: Legos for grownups Ted - hillel

On play, Hillel says, "The Dark Ages are the time between when you put away the Lego for the last time as a kid and [when] you decide as an adult that it is okay to play with a kids' toy."


Isabel Behncke: Evolution's gift of play, from bonobo apes to humans Ted - isabel

For her PhD work, she studied social behavior (and play behavior in particular) of wild bonobos in DR Congo. There are unique aspects of bonobo lives (imaginary play and laughter to inter-group encounters to accidents and death) that challenge & illuminate our understanding of human evolution. She links the play of adult bonobos to insights on human laughter, joy, creativity and our capacity for wonder & exploration.


Tim Brown on Creativity and Play Ted - tim

Tim is the CEO of innovation and design firm IDEO, taking an approach to design that digs deeper than the surface. Having taken over from founder David E. Kelley, Tim Brown carries forward the firm's mission of fusing design, business and social studies to come up with deeply researched, deeply understood designs and ideas — they call it "design thinking."


Dr. Stuart Brown says play is more than fun Ted - stuart

Dr. Stuart Brown came to research play through research on murderers — unlikely as that seems — after he found a stunning common thread in killers' stories: lack of play in childhood. Since then, he's interviewed thousands of people to catalog their relationships with play, noting a strong correlation between success and playful activity. His book Play describes the impact play can have on one's life. With the support of the National Geographic Society and Jane Goodall, he has observed animal play in the wild, where he first conceived of play as an evolved behavior important for the wellbeing — and survival — of animals, especially those of higher intelligence. Now, through his organization, the National Institute for Play, he hopes to expand the study of human play into a vital science — and help people everywhere enjoy and participate in play throughout life.


Scott Eberle on the Importance of Play Ted scott

Scott G. Eberle, Vice President for Interpretation at Strong National Museum of Play® in Rochester, develops exhibits on toys and play, and writes about these topics. To quote Scott, "Once we were all experts at play; as children it was our preoccupation and our main mode of learning. Play was the way we built our muscles, and it was through play that we knitted our friendships. Through play we learned to navigate the social world. We learned the rules. And play helped us imagine our future. Even if we did not grow up to be Jedi knights, or beautiful princesses we learned to envision adult power and responsibility. But imaginative play and rough and tumble play, because they are the work of children, tend to slip beneath our notice as adults."


This video is not a TED Talk, but could be one. Dr. Jaak Panksepp on the Primal Power of Play. He shows rats laughing. Who knew? http://vimeo.com/12121483


There are many more TED Talks on play, creative play, toy design, toys in education, etc.  I chose only some of the videos that were about the importance of play. Some of the others are posted to my Pinterest page http://pinterest.com/marycouzin/ under TED Talks. 


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