IntroductionIn his book, “The Evolution of Leisure”, Geoffrey Godbey (1988) described the need of man as follows:“The surest sign of mature adulthood- and this will surprise many adults- may be the ability to be as a child; to be able, as a child, to play. That is not a new discovery but rather a rediscovery. A century of observation and reflection has provided us with mounting evidence of what people through all time have always known. Man must play.”This paper discusses play as a whole.
It’s costs and benefits, the way it was hypothesized in this century, and how Man must utilize playtime for the betterment of today’s society.Play Defined Play is difficult to define. There is not even an agreement that play is a distinct category of behavior, so some prefer to use the adverb “playful” to describe a way of behavior rather than a type of behavior which is recognizably play. One advantage of using the adverb “playful” is that we are not forced into quite arbitrary distinctions between work and play. (Godbey, 1988).
Play’s Costs and BenefitsGeoffrey Godbey, in his book, “The Evolution of Leisure”, listed the costs of play as follows:1. Time. Time seems to be the most obvious cost of play. In humans and the most juvenile of animals, play seems to be for the young.2. Energy. Play requires considerable amount of energy.
It is common for humans-kids and adults to play until exhaustion. Energy is not exactly vital to survival. One must often save energy to save it only for contingencies.3. Exposure to predators. This is more obvious to animals living in the wilderness; however, this is not uncommon to human beings. While the children are at play, they are exposed to these predators. Providing surveillance, restriction of territory and other means are used to reduce the risks.
4. Risk of Injury. Scrapes and bruises are inevitable but play may also involve risking a human life. Death may be caused by play despite all sorts of precautions one has undertaken.Despite these costs, thousands and thousand of years have demonstrated the importance of play.
Benefits of play are:1. Play is fun and pleasurable. This may bother the very religious ones, but play is simply fun and pleasurable and even they cannot deny it.
2. Pleasure seems to have advantage on the survival of one species. Case in point: humans would not have survived had sex not been pleasurable.Godbey wrote that necessity is not the mother of invention. Rather, it is the freedom to play and try the untried. Failure is included in the definition of play.
In his book, Godbey wrote about Johann Huizinga’s Homo Ludens, A study of the Play Element in Culture. According to Godbey, Huizinga believed that the outcome of play is always in doubt. If the end result is predictable, the play element is lost.
Winning is only the glory, not money or power, shared with teammates. Play always involves tension and risks. According to Huizinga, the player, though absorbed in play, is well aware that play is not reality.Functions of Play Godbey believes that play takes place because of its motivating and energizing force. Play is emotionally positive. It is important in mental and physical health as play most often takes the form of physical activity. Play also contributes to society, from bonding with the infants with their nurturers, to understanding of all sorts of social situations.
Also, plays involves a lot of communication with people, understanding and mutual expectations. Next is intellectual development. A player’s mind is always engaged in his play and this is very evident to audiences. When mastery is achieved, players deliberately add complexity to their play. In play, there is a strong sense of theoretical problem solving, the sense of formulating and testing hypothetical solutions. There is also the freedom of experimentation because, as previously discussed, the outcome is inconsequential. The important thing is enjoying the moment.
Play provides the learning and experience from which an original response may flow. It is clear that play produces the very basics of adaptability, flexibility and creativity. The benefits of play also clearly outweigh its costs.Thee Pleasure Principle by Sigmund FreudPleasure Principle, Reality Principle and SublimationThe Pleasure Principle is coined by Sigmund Freud.
According to Freud, who is one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century, people seek pleasure and avoid pain. The pleasure principle was never discussed without its antithesis: the reality principle. The reality principle states that pleasure must come after work is fulfilled. The pleasure principle makes people want to do things that feel good; on the other hand, the reality principle tells people to channel the energy elsewhere. The process of subordinating the pleasure principle to the reality principle is called sublimation.
A typical example Freud would give on sublimation is sex. Sex is a pleasurable experience and this is the most basic urges of humans. Unfortunately, humans cannot have sex all the time as work will never get done.
This is why sublimation is necessary- channel the energy into something else that can make us productive. According to Freud, civilization is not going to be existent without sublimation of sexual desires.Conscious and Unconscious StateEven with sublimation, however, the desire for pleasure never really disappears. The desires that cannot be expressed are repressed, into a particular place in the mind, labeled unconscious by Freud. Freud’s theories state that the unconscious is not accessible to the conscious mind. Repressed desires are not supposed to be known or thought directly or at will. However, the mind indirectly accesses the unconscious.
Dreams, Parapraxes, JokesPerhaps the most familiar means to access the unconscious is through dreaming. Dreams symbolize fulfillment of desires that have been repressed into the unconscious. These desires are forbidden in consciousness so they come out in dreams- often, in strange ways. Ways that disguise the true wish behind the dream.
CONDENSATION and DISPLACEMENT are two mechanisms of dreams to disguise the forbidden desires. Condensation happens when a whole set of images is packed into a single one, when complexity is made simple. It is basically about displacing the idea of one thing onto a part that is associated with that particular thing.
Aside from dreaming, another way into the unconscious is, as Freud calls it, Parapraxes, or slips of the tongue. Little mistakes, including that in reading, writing and speech are not accidental, but rather, they reveal something that was concealed into the unconscious.Another way into the unconscious is jokes. Jokes, according to Freud, represent repressed desires.Erotogenic ZonesHowever route a person is taken into the subconscious, what is found there is almost always thoughts of sex that have been repressed. Freud claims that sexual desires are in the human instincts, they appear in the most fundamental process of nurturing: like that of a mother breastfeeding an infant.
Breastfeeding, according to Freud provides sexual gratification to the infant as well as survival: warmth, food and comfort. For Freud, the first experiences of a person’s body are how well he organizes sexual pleasure. An infant’s experiences are thus divided by Freud into Erotogenic Zones, the first being the mouth as the baby feels sexual pleasure while breastfeeding. Given that the act of sucking is pleasurable, the baby forms a bond with his mother that is way beyond his hunger (survival instinct).
Freud calls this bond Libidinal, since it involves the baby’s LIBIDO, the drive for sexual pleasure.Other erotogenic zones are the ANAL, and the PHALLIC. The Oral (mouth), anal and phallic correspond to three major stages of childhood development taking place roughly between the ages of 2 to 5, though Freud was often revising his estimate of the ages when these stages occurred.
Other psychoanalysts argue that the oral stage begins soon after birth, with breastfeeding. The phallic stage, meanwhile, ends somewhere between ages 3 to 5. The oral stage is associated with incorporation: taking thins inside, knowing no boundaries between self and another person.
Freud says the anal stage has many things to do about toilet training. It is associated with learning the boundaries between inside and outside, with aggression and anger. The phallic stage refers to both penis and clitoris. This is where a child leans to masturbation and hence the gateway to adult sexuality.Pleasure Principle and Play as Applied todayIn an article published in the ________________, on April 28, 2008, the pope expressed his shame at the mistakes his church made relative to child abuse. In the article, a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, relayed that the most significant form of social evil is the “individualism, consumerism and decline of community” that is stoked by, amongst other actors, the media.
The main issue is how people say that his primary responsibility is to himself and maybe some to his family. People no longer cared about their neighbors in a meaningful sense.The article mentiond ways for society to get better. First, governments need to stop pretending wellbeing is economic prosperity.
Second, people need to realise that the pursuit of pleasure is merely the means to an end. Lastly,people need to acknowledge what went wrong.Given previous discussions and the predicament shown in this article, pleasure cannot be alone in our existence. Theologians, philosophers, historians and other important people may disagree on the role and importance of pleasure. The fact remains that there must always be modulation in whatever humans do.
Pleasure may have begun society as previously pointed out, but humans’ excesses can easily destroy a whole civilization. Case in point: the Romans. It is imperative to achieve a balance between play and reality. However, though ideal, is not easily achievable. Other factors like greed and prudish intent has to be considered. It is actually a matter of choices of the individuals.References:Psychoanalysis and Sigmund Freud. (n.
d.). Retrieved July , 2009, from http://www.colorado.edu/English/courses/ENGL2012Klages/freud.htmlThacker, Justin (April 28, 2008).
Beyond the pleasure principle. Retrieved July 8, 2009, from http://www.guardian.
co.uk/commentisfree/2008/apr/28/beyondthepleasureprincipleGodbey, G. (1988). The Evolution of Leisure.
Taylor ; Francis.;