When we were children, we knew how to play. We were encouraged to play. Our moms threw us out of the house saying, “Go outside and play!” Somewhere, we gave up those childish ways. We unlearned how to play. Adult play is competitive and stressful and maybe obligatory. We play office basketball, church Bunko, YMCA and Little League. We coach our children in their “organized” play. We have killed the sheer joy and whimsy of play.
When I was a child, I spent hours watching clouds roll overhead. Miami had these amazing afternoon rain storms. Before the storms and after the storms, the clouds were mountainous and the fertile ground for imaginations. My parents also let us roam. Roaming is a unique childhood experience. Our play was unstructured until we chose to make a team for something. Rules were democratic and they were not set in stone. While there were always playground bullies, the masses usually managed to thwart their aggression.
In adulthood, the bully wins. People are rude and aggressive and competitive and self-centered. It is ego destroying. And lonely. And dismal.
I desired a place to play.
I found World of Warcraft. It is a huge playground. You can be solitary or play in a group. You can NEVER fail because you never die (not comlpetely). No one can permanently break your toys. It is fun and frolick and silly and completely meaningless…and that is its power. I had fogotten the sheer joy of stupid, mindless, pointless play. I have made friends. We joke, banter, flirt and navigate this other world. People are basically friendly and helpful. If someone is not, they are excluded. It is the playground we let slip away with our youth.
It is a divine and delightful treat. See you on the playground!ï¿½