Homo Ludens

Homo Ludens: A study of the Play Element in Culture.

The seminal sociological work by the Dutch Cultural theorist Johan Huizinga  (December 7, 1872 – February 1, 1945) describes and analyses the nature and significance of the play element in culture, a phenomenom hugely relevant to the nature of the individual experience at Burning Man festival.

“In play there is something ‘at play’ which transcends the immediate needs of life and imparts meaning to the action”

Huizinga describes the detachment and unreality of playing and the way in which it provides release from the reality of the everyday, embodied in the idea of constructing a temporary city (or playground) in the desert, in which fun, interaction and play are fundamental facets of the experience .

“The feeling of being ‘apart together’ in an exceptional situation, of sharing something important, of mutually withdrawing from the rest of the world and rejecting the usual norms, retains its magic beyond the duration of the individual game.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: