Everyone agrees that playing is an essential activity for the development of children, but few are aware of the importance to keep playing in adulthood.

In our language, adults use the term game for betting, lotteries and casinos, the antithesis of a creative activity. In English, however, to play is a dynamic and proactive verb, bringing together actions as “playing”, “acting”, “being on” or “playing music.” In a literal but inadequate translation we realize, for example, how beautiful is the expression “play the guitar”, because it denotes an experimental process, linked to the playful and creative learning.

The American psychiatrist Stuart Brown compares playing with oxygen: “It’s all around, but we do not appreciate until we lose it”. According to research by the author, who has founded the National Institute for Play, many convicted of criminal offenses in Texas prisons recognized the lack of play in childhood, which limited their tolerance and their resources in adulthood.

Playing is much more than fun for children. It is the expression of a man who displays all of their capabilities to adapt to an ever changing environment. A game expands the bandwidth of our relationships with others and helps us deal with a wide range of situations.

All are invited to breathe this oxygen that feeds the soul lungs, renewed by enthusiasm and creativity. From playing with our children to learning to play an instrument, to imagine other realities or project what does not yet exist, as we did as children.

And perhaps most important is the fact that by playing we can get rid of the ego, or  (in terms of losing) we can clearly see it and refrain it. Not long ago, an old friend told us that if you want to get to know someone really, just look at their relationship with the money (if he is generous or stingy, or he tends to invite or is avoiding the time to pay, for example ), and also watch him live the fact of playing, winning and losing, feeling cornered. In the small gestures of life we see the great scripts of our greatness and misery.

It would not hurt from time to time, stopping to observe and give ourselves permission to see the wonder that occurs when children, adults and even animals, play freely, are released, allowed themselves to be, and joy springs forth. And after that comment, give us the pleasure of letting go and play.

Let’s play, then, because life is a game, and games are games.


Álex Rovira and Francesc Miralles


P.S. In this video, entertaining and fascinating, Sir Ken Robinson shares a series of lucid and fun comments on creativity, education, play as a way of expressing natural talent and other issues that have to do with the inner grow as people. It is well worth taking the time to contemplate.

Alex Rovira