chapter
play
Pages 2

Play is a type of ‘free’ activity, familiar in the lives not only of humans, but also of certain animal species, that takes place ‘within its own proper boundaries of time and space’ (Huizinga 1950:13). This activity is particularly characteristic of the young of any relevant species, who use special playful, and immediately recognizable expressions to indicate that they are engaged in it. This signal shows that the ostensible character of the activity, for instance, combat, does not reveal its true nature as understood by its participants. In other words, play has something of the character of acting, or makebelieve.