The importance of playing
To present this theme I will make a full reproduction of an article on the site Greenest Post about the importance of playing. The article was inspired by Ted Talk Playing is more than fun - it's vital, presented by Stuart Brown at TED 2008. I also mention in the references a video of a complete conference held by Portia Tung under the title “The Power of Play: Making good teams great” in 2015.
What the to play can do for your brain? Over the past few years, several areas of science have been dedicated to the topic. And they have discovered the power of Just kidding, not only for children's development, but also to improve quality of life for adults
One of these studies is conducted by the psychiatrist and researcher Stuart Brown, founder of The National Institute for Play (National Institute for Play, in Portuguese). He began to study the topic when he realized, in his research, that the great criminals of history had a huge lack of games in their childhood.
“Nothing lights up the brain as much as playing. Three-dimensional games activate the cerebellum, send several impulses to the frontal lobe - the executive part of the brain -, help the development of contextual memory, among other benefits ”, he explains.
A survey of rats proves the importance of play in childhood for survival in adulthood. The rats were divided into two groups, one of which was prevented from playing at a certain stage of childhood.
When faced with danger (cat odor), both groups went into hiding. However, the group that had not played hid forever, and ended up dying. Those who played slowly return to exploring the environment and begin to test safety outside again.
Rats have brain structures similar to ours, so these findings can be considered important for humans as well.
THE OPPOSITE OF PLAYING IS NOT WORKING. IT'S DEPRESSION!
"A very peculiar thing about our species is that we were designed to play throughout our life," says Brown.
According to the researcher, the basis of confidence is established from the signs of play: tone of voice, body gestures, facial expressions ...
And we start to lose those signals, culturally, as we become adults. “This is a shame. I think we have a lot to learn. ”
NEOTENIA: DO YOU KNOW THIS WORD?
Stuart Brown believes that neotenia it should be the name and surname of each of us. The word means the retention of childlike qualities in adulthood. According to several anthropological and other studies, humans are the most “neotenic” of creatures: the most youthful, flexible, plastic and, therefore, the most playful. And that makes all the difference in terms of adaptability.
Therefore, it is important that each of us analyze his own history of games. Each has a personal and unique history that we rarely think about.
TAKE A TEST!
Try to retrieve in your memory the oldest, clearest and most joyful memory of your childhood play. Be it a toy, a birthday or a vacation. And start building, from the emotion of that memory, how it connects to your life now. This rescue can lead you to make play a tool for personal and professional life. "You will be able to enrich your life by prioritizing this and paying attention to it," says Stuart Brown.
“So, I would like to encourage you all to engage not in the differential work x play - in which you separate time to play - but that your life is infused minute by minute, hour by hour, with body, object, social, fantasy, in transformational types of games. And I believe that you will have a better and more fulfilling life ”, he adds.
Types of Play
The types of play are the different forms of play mapped by Stuart Brown within human behavior. The original list was copied from technical data sheet #25 of Dragon Dreaming, and Stuart Brown describes some in detail in the same Ted Talk mentioned earlier.
- Imaginative pranks. They activate the deepest resources of individual intuition and are shaped by history. They are often associated with night and daydreaming.
- Individual games. This is the individual's ability to be entertained without the need for prolonged contact with others.
- Scrambling games. In our culture this is usually suppressed by a well-intentioned preschool teacher and parents who prefer calm and order to the apparent chaos that is typical of free childhood play.
- Uncontrolled Play. They are healthy. The awareness of parents and teachers about the value of free organization by children - that is, lightly supervised. Playing for elementary school children in recess is another area where greater knowledge about the healthy aspects of play is needed.
- Experimenting and Adapting Play. Construction games. Prototypes. Think with your hands. Test.
- Interpreting Behaviors. It can be a way to exploit design flaws. Adults don't believe it, but play is always a tool of empathy.
Brown, Stuart. (2010) Play. How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul.