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5.0 out of 5 stars A serious business, 24 May 2014
This review is from: Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation (Paperback)
On the day I finished reading this book I heard my neighbours’ grandchildren playing in the garden. It is a universal sound and one, like birdsong, which gladdens the heart. Bateson and Martin’s new book uses a range of disciplines including developmental biology, evolution, animal behaviour and historical anecdote to explain just how important play is for children and for the adults they grow into. It is an activity that society is apparently rationing to our cost.
At the heart of the book are their innovative definitions of play, playfulness, creativity and innovation. These are both useful and thought provoking. Why for instance is professional sport so little about playing? Way do playful environments in the workplace promote creativity? In the best spirit of scientific enquiry this isn’t the last word, but a manifesto for future exploration. And, it’s liberating to be not just permitted, but also positively encouraged, to daydream by two luminaries of the biosciences. This book was a gift I was delighted to receive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic unpacking of the importance and continuing relevance of play wihin culture, 16 Aug. 2013
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Ben Malbon (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this from start to finish. I especially enjoyed the focus on re-framing play as something that can be used later in life and be put together in novel ways to solve new problems (i.e. used to power innovation). It's a refreshing and somewhat liberating thought that one doesn't have to dispense with play as one grows older. I was also nodding vigorously as the authors explored the particularly intrinsically focused rewards of certain types of play; when play is less for others, more 'folded inside' the self. I think this is a rich area that could do with further unpacking; the notion that there is somehow an important (and under-examined) role for 'play' in the construction of an inwardly-oriented sense of resistance (and identity formation) that's experienced during supposedly frivolous activities such as dancing, something that may be as much performed with the body than thought (consciously) with the mind.

If I had one grumble, it would be a predictable one, given my own studies in this area. And that is that the authors had only started to scratch the surface of the vast uncharted waters around dreams, drugs and creativity. Re-framing certain types of recreational drug use as playful activities spawning extraordinary creativity - and in many cases, mind-bending innovation - would, for example, have been a really fascinating addendum to that chapter.

Overall though, highly recommended. The book is written in an open, accessible and thoroughly unpretentious way that makes it a perfect introduction to debates around play and creativity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really explains why Play is so important, 19 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation (Paperback)
Excellent research materials on the value of Play. It shows why Play should be a government priority to ensure that it is valued as much if not more than academic teaching.

A real MUST read for Mr Gove, Elizabeth Truss and everyone parent, teacher, practitioner, the impact play has in chidrens lives and cognitative development
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Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation
Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation by Paul Martin (Paperback - 11 July 2013)
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