Time, Space and the Business of Play

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In my last posting I wrote about my work on "Mapping Play" and the previously unseen linkages I am finding.   I ended by noting that one of the places my efforts have taken me is the recognition that:   “The business of play has moved from competing for space (square inches on a store shelf) to competing for time (available time to play in a child’s or adult’s life).” 

If you see yourself as being in the toy or video game industry, you spend much of your energy attempting to sieze as much physical space as possible, most of it at your competitor’s expense.  If, however, you see yourself as being a part of the play industry, you realize that the battle for space is just a skirmish in the bigger battle for time to play.

The battle for playtime certainly involves competition but in the bigger sense it really calls for collaboration.  Why, because our society currently deems play as an unessential and as a result the available time to play has been in a steady decline. 

This steady loss in playtime is a threat to all of those who sell or provide play for a living.  It is also a threat to our society as play creates mentally, emotionally and physically healthier children and adults.

It is for this reason that I see an opportunity for all of those who sell play and all of those who advocate for it to work together in fighting for more time and freedom to play.  That in my next posting.

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