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Play Anything – Ian Bogost

How filling life with play—whether soccer or lawn mowing, counting sheep or tossing Angry Birds—forges a new path for creativity and joy in our impatient age. 

Life is no game. It’s demanding, boring, and rarely fun. But what if we’ve got games wrong? Playing anything—whether an instrument, a sport, or a video game—takes hard work and makes absurd demands. Where’s the fun in that?

In Play Anything, acclaimed philosopher and award-winning game designer Ian Bogost reveals that play isn’t a mindless escape from boring reality. Instead, play is what happens when we accept limitations, narrow our focus, and—consequently—have fun. Which is also how to live a good life. Manipulating cards to make a poker hand is no different than treating chores and obligations as tools but which we can discover new happiness.

Ranging from Internet culture to moral philosophy, from ancient poetics to modern consumerism, Play Anything reveals how today’s chaotic world can only be tamed—and enjoyed—when we first impose boundaries on ourselves.



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