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Video: We Play Life - Self-development
Here is a small creature sitting in a sandbox and, sticking out its tongue, with concentration, is building something. One overturned bucket, the second, then the wall between the two turrets - it's a fortress! The second kid dashingly drives to the sandbox on a three-wheeled bike. He watches silently for a while, then leaves somewhere. Returns with an armful of twigs: “And I brought you trees! Let's put it in! " In a moment, they are already doing it together. Hard times awaited the fortress: first the dragon flew in, and then the evil transformers. But don't worry - "ours" won, of course!
Originally from the sandbox
You can endlessly watch the children's game. On the one hand, you never cease to be amazed at the boundless children's imagination. On the other hand, children very funny incorporate elements of everyday life into their fantasies. The wounded dragon is taken from the fortress by ambulance. But most of all I admire the sincerity with which children are immersed in the invented world. The broken sand tower brings real tears; and the victory over the evil transformer is a genuine joy.
Play is a necessary stage in the development of every child. In developmental psychology there is a term - "leading type of activity." This is such a vital activity that most of all shapes our personality traits, mental functions, inclusion in society, etc. And the more actively the baby plays, the better it will be developed and adapted to adult life.
We don't stop playing because we got old, we get old because we stop playing
George Bernard Shaw
Fun for big kids
But do we stop playing when we grow up? A couple of years ago there was a funny incident in my practice. The father of a seventeen-year-old boy came to psychological counseling, who, in his opinion, played too much. At the same time, it was not about computer addiction, but about the hobby for "board games". I meant board role-playing games, which have a plot, their own world (setting), and fantastic characters. The man was very worried that his son would become stupid.
I asked the guy to briefly explain the rules to his father (and in many "board games" they are the most complicated; often they are instructions for several tens of pages). It is not easy to understand them, but if it really worked out, then immediately +100 points to "intelligence". After the third explanation, the father more or less understood the strategy and tactics, after which all his fears were dispelled. But he had the following question: “Is this a normal occupation for an adult respectable person? Why waste time on nonsense."
I advised him to ask colleagues about their hobbies. The man came to the next consultation with a discouraged look. Well, with young employees everything is clear - they are not quite adults yet. One has paintball on weekends, and the other has computer "tanks" almost every evening. The leader turned out to be a fan of preference; the head of the IT service - a fan of Night Watch; the chief accountant, a woman of retirement age, confessed that she is fond of Sudoku. In general, it turned out that everyone is playing without exception. The man was confused: “I am not attracted to such activities. What is wrong with me?"
Child psychologists agree that young talents master the material as effectively as possible in a playful way. Modern board games can be both a teaching aid and entertainment. For example, Sleeping Queens or Pharaoh's Code (for older mathematicians) are great for developing oral numeracy skills. Fascinated by the gameplay, the child will solve dozens of equations for which in a normal setting it would be problematic to seat him. Moreover, it will require continuation …
In addition to mathematics, you can study history with your child and broaden his horizons with a series of exciting timeline quizzes. By communicating with the child and explaining to him the significance of events for the story, parents can establish psychological contact with the teenager, develop communication skills and have fun with the family. By the way, board games also effectively develop logical and spatial thinking, which is so necessary in the modern world. For example, "set" is used as an official teaching material by teachers of Western educational institutions. And "high-speed caps", "barabashka" and "dobble" - the reaction and attentiveness in the process of finding differences (all of them can be found in the network of specialized stores "Igroved").
The undoubted advantage of board games is that they can be selected for specific tasks, while all, without exception, have a beneficial effect on the child's psyche, promote communication, create coziness in the house and help return that “warmth of the family hearth” that we lost when we fell victim to blue screens of electronic devices.
Become bigger than yourself
The trick is that the game can penetrate into any kind of activity, disguise itself as it. For example, for a spinster who is trying not to miss a "last chance", building a relationship is a serious undertaking, but for some pickup artist it is entertainment. Many people play "in life" - in love, in creativity, in work. The game begins when we forget about the burden of responsibility for the final result and enjoy the process as much as possible.
There are two main properties of any game that generate interest and ensure that you enjoy it. The first is the creation of symbolic reality. Remember the example of children in the sandbox? Fiddling with twigs is not interesting, but when a twig turns into a tree that needs to be planted next to the fortress, that's a completely different matter. With the help of creative imagination, reality is doubling, each object receives an additional meaning, filled with living emotions.
In any profession, "advanced" specialists have their own slang. And this is no coincidence, because many of them play their work - they come up with new names for work objects, tools, situations. For professionals, their work is always a symbolic reality, and that is why they cope with it playfully.
The second main property is maximum concentration of attention on what we are doing. This can be called an "inner game". For example, if the athlete's attention is focused on the instructions of the coach, the results will be noticeably worse than if he focuses as much as possible on some element of the activity itself.
When we play, we don't care what others say about it, we just need to follow the rules (that is, honestly be in a "doubled" symbolic reality). If we are as concentrated as possible, we have a sense of control over the situation. This not only gives self-confidence, but also helps to assimilate information, learn, and achieve the intended results.
It turns out that we can turn almost any activity into a game. This idea is very attractive, but can we do it? I think yes.
And in support of my words I would like to quote the thought of the philosopher Grigory Pomerants: “… in some special games an adult, like a child, feels himself the image and likeness of something higher, a free being, the king of the universe. Religious rituals were such a game. Such games are art, love; for mathematicians who feel the form of numerical symbols, such a game can be their science, etc. These special games of adults are imitation of a world that does not exist in space and time, a world that we do not know - perhaps the creation of a new one. They raise above the everyday, give a feeling of spiritual infinity, they created man from an animal and every day they create him again from dust."
Not a game, but a bomb
On August 6, 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a game of Go for one of the most honorable Japanese titles was held in the suburbs. Sensei Iwamoto Kaoru, a 7th dan black belt, challenged Hashimoto Utaro, a black belt one dan higher than his opponent. The first game of the match took place on July 23rd, 24th and 25th, and was played in the heart of the city. The applicant came out the winner. The second game was decided to be held near the city, because of the widespread American leaflets threatening to drop a powerful new bomb on Hiroshima. Despite all the precautions, the blast wave knocked out the glass and left the room in disarray, but the players restored the stones on the board and finished the game to the end.
This is how interesting it all turned out - we started with the sandbox, and got to the high philosophical meanings. But what benefit can be, for example, to me personally from some chess tournaments with friends? Let's try to list the pluses: rest, intellect training, entertainment, competitive excitement, pleasant communication, raising your prestige if you win. Agree, this is already enough to let the game into your life! If we are talking about role options, then there is also a psychotherapeutic aspect added. Usually we choose exactly those roles that allow us to realize our hidden desires, give us the opportunity to temporarily "disconnect" from the annoying sides of our personality. Any game has the effect of freedom (liberation from reality), but in role-playing it is most powerful.
Since the mid-twentieth century, postmodern philosophers have been saying that in the modern world everything has long been transformed into symbolic objects (simulacra) with which global games are played in culture, politics, economics, etc. The theory of games has migrated from boring mathematics to extremely entertaining applied behavioral economics. Anthropologists and sociologists study "exchange games" in social relations, psychologists - in interpersonal ones. Managers panic over the fact that classical models of people management are outdated, and gamification of labor is named as one of the most promising alternatives.
You shouldn't put on the mask of a very adult and very serious person. After all, all the nonsense on earth is done with this expression. I propose to play any interesting games sincerely and joyfully, since the choice is now huge. Play life …
More fun together
One of the important needs of any person is the thirst for new experiences, new emotional, physical and intellectual sensations. A lot depends on the presence and "quality" of these very impressions in our life. For example, our own state: first comes boredom, and then apathy and depression are not far away. Everyone knows what boredom can lead to at school or at work. It is not for nothing that the idea of “work as an inner game” appeared in coaching. Also in relationships, even the most powerful and passionate ones, if people stop surprising each other, the relationship can gradually come to naught altogether.
For the sake of new impressions, we are ready to sacrifice a lot - waist (if we overeat), not virtual reality (if we “live” in a computer), love. To get new adrenaline in a relationship, we can destroy it by making scandals, although betrayal can also arise … Is it worth paying such a price? Maybe choose a different strategy? Have some fun, play? But - together!
individual and family psychologist, personal coach