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McDonald, Peter – American Journal of Play, 2019
The author discusses Johan Huizinga's "Homo Ludens" and the animating mood that it calls the "play spirit." He argues that these styles of playfulness represent a major practical and theoretical contribution Huizinga offers contemporary studies of play, and he considers Huizinga's methodology in a reading that runs counter to…
Descriptors: Play, Games, History, Cultural Influences
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Feldman, Daniel – American Journal of Play, 2019
The author demonstrates that war places children's play under acute stress but does not eliminate it. He argues that the persistence of children's play and games during periods of armed conflict reflects the significance of play as a key mode for children to cope with conditions of war. Episodes of children's play drawn from the recent Syrian…
Descriptors: War, Play, Stress Variables, Coping
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Dodge, Autumn M. – American Journal of Play, 2018
The author discusses Magic: The Gathering as not only a card game but as situated in New Literacies as a Discourse and community of practice with rich, complex, and multimodal literacy practices. She describes apprenticeship to the game from the perspective of a novice and a long-time player and argues that entering its Magic Discourse depends on…
Descriptors: Communities of Practice, Games, Vocabulary, Literacy
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Henricks, Thomas S. – American Journal of Play, 2018
The author counters the common descriptions of play as endlessly diverse, ambiguous, and even paradoxical by describing it as a fundamental experience comparable to three others--ritual, work, and communitas. Play, he argues, entails a distinctive strategy of self-realization and a strategy for living. He first examines four basic types of…
Descriptors: Play, Self Actualization, Ceremonies, Teaching Methods
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Martin, Cathlena – American Journal of Play, 2018
Game historians usually trace the literary roots of role-playing games to J. R. R. Tolkien and other fantasy authors. In this article, the author argues that, although Tolkien indeed provided pioneer game creators with specific content, historians have missed the important early influence on game history of children's literature that advocates and…
Descriptors: Role Playing, Childrens Literature, History Instruction, Games
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Goldstein, Thalia R. – American Journal of Play, 2018
Children have a natural inclination to play and imagine themselves as characters. Research has supported theories that connect this pretend play and related theatrical play to the development of children's social and emotional skills, but the author contends we need further, more rigorous research on whether such play directly relates to such…
Descriptors: Games, Intervention, Dramatic Play, Preschool Children
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Higl, Andrew – American Journal of Play, 2017
The author discusses the Exeter Book riddles, some of the earliest poems in English, specifically Old English, as perfect examples of how play and poetry intersect. Their playfulness, he claims, is most apparent in the original manuscript, but notes that few modern readers read Old English. The orthography of the manuscript also helps to make the…
Descriptors: Play, Poetry, Games, Puzzles
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Mechling, Jay – American Journal of Play, 2016
For Sigmund Freud, the terms "dreamwork" and "jokework" denoted the process by which the mind displaces social and psychological anxieties and permits them to emerge disguised in dreams and jokes. This article posits a similar process for "sandwork." Examining the ways people play with sand in its three basic…
Descriptors: Play, Playground Activities, Reflection, Children
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Pendlebury, Kate – American Journal of Play, 2016
The author argues that children's books are not, as commonly held, either didactic or entertaining and that successful juvenile literature teaches what Lewis Carroll, who wrote "Alice in Wonderland," termed "mental recreation." Pendlebury contends that learning and play, far from being opposites, can closely resemble one…
Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Children, Play, Recreational Activities
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Jagoda, Patrick; Gilliam, Melissa; McDonald, Peter; Russell, Christopher – American Journal of Play, 2015
Gamification--the use of game mechanics in conventionally nongame activities--has received attention in the field of education. Games, however, are not reducible to the common mechanisms of gamification that target extrinsic motivation, and may also include elements such as role playing, world making, and collective storytelling. Here, the authors…
Descriptors: Play, Games, Computer Simulation, Learning
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Fine, Gary Alan – American Journal of Play, 2014
Chess is a game of minds, bodies, and emotions. Most players recognize each of these as essential to playful competition, and all three are embedded in social relations. Thus chess, despite its reputation as a game of the mind, is not only a deeply thoughtful exercise, but also a test of physical endurance and strong emotions in its joys and…
Descriptors: Play, Games, Emotional Response, Psychological Patterns
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Witherspoon, Lisa; Manning, John P. – American Journal of Play, 2012
The authors examine technology-driven games--especially active gaming--as an evolving form of children's play. They offer an overview of play and its developmental benefits, describe the literature on the emergence of technology-driven play, and reflect on the diminishment of physical play in contemporary culture. They suggest that active gaming,…
Descriptors: Play, Educational Games, Computer Games, Video Games
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Holmes, Robyn M. – American Journal of Play, 2012
Based on a study of 149 parochial-school students enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grade, this article explores children's outdoor recess activities in an urban setting--with a focus on how age, gender, and size of play group influence their outdoor play preferences--and examines changes in children's activity preferences over a single…
Descriptors: Play, Urban Schools, Obesity, Parochial Schools
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Atkinson, Michael – American Journal of Play, 2011
As many cultural groups in Western societies have become disaffected with mainstream sports cultures and their logics of practice, sociologists of sport and physical culture have turned their attention to the existential benefits of play and games. There is growing interest in revisiting and exploring the classic theories of play in society,…
Descriptors: Play, Games, Athletics, Culture
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Kawash, Samira – American Journal of Play, 2010
The Candy Land board game has been in production since 1949 and remains one of the best-known and biggest-selling children's board games of all time. Beginning with the fiftieth-anniversary edition in 1998, Hasbro Inc. has promoted the story of how a retired schoolteacher named Eleanor Abbott came to invent Candy Land while recuperating in a polio…
Descriptors: Games, Child Health, Public Health, United States History
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