TED talks about play

Some TED talks on questions of play, games, improvisation, iteration, and innovation.

Stuart Brown: Play is more than fun
“A pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults — and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.
“Stuart Brown’s research shows play is not just joyful and energizing — it’s deeply involved with human development and intelligence.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness
“Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of ‘flow.’
“Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has contributed pioneering work to our understanding of happiness, creativity, human fulfillment and the notion of “flow” — a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work.”

Tim Brown: Tales of creativity and play
“At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play — with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn’t).
“Tim Brown is the CEO of the ‘innovation and design’ firm IDEO — taking an approach to design that digs deeper than the surface.”

Gever Tulley: 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do
“Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, spells out 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do — and why a little danger is good for both kids and grownups.”

Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world
“Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.
“Reality is broken, says Jane McGonigal, and we need to make it work more like a game. Her work shows us how.”

Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life
“When game designer Jane McGonigal found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. In this moving talk, McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience — and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life.”

Gabe Zichermann: How games make kids smarter
“Can playing video games make you more productive? Gabe Zichermann shows how games are making kids better problem-solvers, and will make us better at everything from driving to multi-tasking.”

Steve Keil: A manifesto for play, for Bulgaria and beyond
“Steve Keil fights the ‘serious meme’ that has infected his home of Bulgaria — and calls for a return to play to revitalize the economy, education and society. A sparkling talk with a universal message for people everywhere who are reinventing their workplaces, schools, lives.”

Isabel Behncke: Evolution’s gift of play, from bonobo apes to humans
“With never-before-seen video, primatologist Isabel Behncke Izquierdo (a TED Fellow) shows how bonobo ape society learns from constantly playing — solo, with friends, even as a prelude to sex. Indeed, play appears to be the bonobos’ key to problem-solving and avoiding conflict. If it works for our close cousins, why not for us?”

Posted under: History / philosophy / sociology


PLAYER 1 is the roller derby name of artist Germaine Koh.

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