on 27 October 2004
I think this is a great book that demonstrates that the British work ethic is on its last legs. Play is without doubt the answer. However, as only about 15 per cent of all workers are employed in 'knowledge work' who is going to let us play as much as we should? We should never forget the omnipresence of big business and how it is forever creeping into our lives and commercialising what wasn't. Therefore a play manifesto is great for those who can get it on a regular basis, but for the vast majority are going to have to fight hard to get some of the action.
on 19 July 2005
This book is very well presented and researched. Its argument is well put and challenging, both in the intellectual and stylistic sense.
The main problem is the author has obviously spent no time at all in the real world. He advocates that by (re)discovering the 'playful' side of our personalities we can somehow transform our working environment, to being something that its not - eg no longer work.
Yeah, well, that's fine if you're in a creative job, like being a musician, or working in an advertising agency. But try applying it to being a nurse, teacher, claims handler, farmer, data inputter or any of the million other mundane jobs people struggle through to pay their dues in our screwed up economy.
The notion falls flat straight away, because, actually, in the real world there are profits to be made and targets to be reached. People also desire power, and ruthlessly compete with each other for wealth and status.
I'm trying not to be a boring old cynic. People read books like this and genuinely get inspired to live more meaningful lives. Good for them. But, at the end of the day, its completely stupid to think ideas like this can change the world. To do that requires a lot of effort, persistance and... no pun intended - Work.