Play and Evolution

Some next stage thoughts on that potential future research project i posted some ideas around yesterday (Personal Reflections Tag/Category)

Andy Miah send me some links to Pat Kane and Brian Sutton Smiths work on play.

‘There’s some really good research on play from Huizinga’s classic text ‘homo ludens’ to Bernard Suits ‘ the grasshopper’ and Brian Sutton Smith (, whose work has been applied to sports and computer games respectively. Some of these intersections I’ve explored in my digital olympic book, but the approach to science and art is quite unresearched. Also,  check out Pat Kane’s ‘the play ethic’ there’s some nice ideas in it. These theorists would be a very good starting point in terms of literature.

Thanks Andy…….. This helped focus my mind on what my interest was within this growing and emergent field and have some thoughts on how i might link my interest in play to my interests in metaphysics, philosophy and multiverses. I re visited some of the writings by Ken Wilbar (his  Integral Vision) which helped me link and arrive at a focus (for now)

on Play and Evolution – its significance, function and potential- or explained in a more pop culture kind of way >>>>>>>>> Play in The Field >>>>>>>>>>> (of future possibilities and infinite potential).

Although I generally have a tendancy in my scope of thinking to be very broad ranging, interdisciplinary and integrative… i am also practical so in the interests of narrowing down i arrived at two research areas/strands  (for now). These strands (working on from and evolving two of the themes i set for WE PLAY) are

  • Science >>> body and economy (ie enhancement/biotechnology)
  • Art >>> play and space (ie live mass spectacles)

What follows are the trails of thought/questions which came in to my mind, to be researched and tested/rejected).

Play as a new logic for understanding that the processes leading to art and science are the same ie both based on invention/creation/imagination ie play. Play is also a creative philosophy to suit the new era/study of human futures. Creativity generates consciousness and our ability to transform reality. I believe its time to move beyond cultural creators ( I – Visions) to Integral Players (We – movements) – and there is increasing evidence of this shift emerging.

Some of the beliefs behind this research concept/idea are that you can map external/objective reality through understanding interior/subjective reality;  that evolution is marked by the emergence of new forms in transcendental leaps of creativity – self organization and self transcendence through play and that the development of more Integral Players will create more people developing their senses to perceive the invisible ie the collective consciousness movement as the next wave of evolutionary development or humans. This contains the  idea that the evolutionary development journey of play IS  this next wave consciousness (human) and next wave identity (trans-human (Pat Kane) and therefore play is a new cultural movement

IF i am going to pursue this research path then i am going to need to show how modern science is becoming compatible with art and spirituality (quantum physics). How do you try and demonstrate the idea that the inner dimension IS NOT not simply reducable to bio chemical/brain processes? (drug culture disproves this (?!) but play is analogous to neural potential – it actualizes brain connections… so what…..How do you try to explore play as a vehicle of consciousness for every level of existence? In science (complexity theory) play is regarded as a central process that brings order to the chaos of natural creation (I’d like to look at idea that perhaps play IS the process of natural AND Artifical creation).  If Creativity is the ‘stuff’ of evolution, then  is play its function?

Is play a new biology?

Is all creation and manifestation play?

Some of the theoretical/cultural topics to research could  include:

Creative Emergence, Quantum Physics, Meta Physics, Play and Imagination, Creativity and consciousness

Lalitha – ‘she who plays’ – the godess of creativity and play

Drug Culture

(Matrix) Energetics (and its relationship to play and/or creativity)

Some of the sexy concepts to explore would be…

Natural Creative Capital

Networked Energy

Adaptive Potentiation (BSS)

Integral Players

Natural/Artifical Creation (Art/Science)

PLAY leads to ART which leads us to HUMAN EVOLUTION

PLAY leads to SCIENCE which leads us to HUMAN EVOLUTION

Common Ground = Play

Human Impact and Potential = Evolution

If the processes leading to both art and science are the same ie rooted in play culture and i researched practice in both fields with a view to finding process commonalities in their differences as practices, would I find out something new regarding our understanding of being and the nature of existence ie make a contribution to the fields of meta phsyics, ontology and philosophy?

~ by Debbi Lander on January 5, 2010.

2 Responses to “Play and Evolution”

  1. Hi Debbi, picked up your post on google Alerts, fascinating ruminations… If youre looking for an intergration of play and integralism try any of the more academic papers at or search out integral papers from patricia von papstein. I grapple a little with the consciousness question in the spiritualty chapter in The Play Ethic book (dead cheap second hand on amazon!). My recent paper on play, potentiality and the constitution of the Net (on the PE website) looks a lot at neoteny, which is for me a really interesting link between play, evolution, and human potentiality. What are you working on generally? It’s not clear from the blog. Best pk

    • Hello Pat

      Thanks for that and to Andy Miah who put me in touch with your work. I will certainly check out those references. I already ordered the play ethic book and cant wait to read it. What i am working on is cultural programming as my job is to develop a programme of cultural activity for the 2012 games here in the northwest and the backbone of this programme is WE PLAY – a four year project exploring the themes of body and economy, play and space and routes and trails (see section on blog). My ruminations around play and evolution are linked to my desire to pursue the more theoretical and esoteric directions of this theme as maybe a research project when i am done with this job, and also use the WE PLAY project as some base practice based research re certain dimensions of play – we are looking at play in a more prosaic sense as a mechanism to drive collaboration between culture, education and sport and also to deliver legacy in terms of enhancing human potential and also participation in creative activity – this play and evolution interest – would be a natural extension – so i start to explore what is already there by people like yourself, towards fixing a focus for a research phd etc in the future. Love to meet up and talk with you. I am based in liverpool

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