Power of play

People often think of play as frivolous or trivial, and they are right…. Play is activity conducted for its own sake rather than to achieve serious real-world goals such as food, money, praise, escape from a tiger, or an addition to one’s resume. It is activity that takes place at least partly in a fantasy world. So it is indeed trivial! But here is the most delicious of play’s paradoxes: the enormous educative power of play lies in its triviality. Play serves the serious purpose of education, but the player is not deliberately educating himself or herself. The player is playing for fun; education is a by-product. If the player were playing for a serious purpose, it would no longer be play and much of the educative power would be lost.

Peter Gray
Free to Learn