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9

To Play is Human

From the dawn of time, humans have found games as the fundamental means for entertainment. It involves strategic thinking, teamwork, foresight, and a whole lot of fun among other skills that it takes for one to enjoy a game. Yes, enjoying a game requires us to actually be good at it.

Games aren't limited within one space alone. We often associate games nowadays with the digital platforms as video games have become widely available through smartphones and PCs. But we can find games or its principles in economy, politics, society, and other aspects of life: competition, limited resources, interaction with other players.

Games aren’t just at the origins of our social order. They also lie at the origins of our digital order. Kids these days still fall in love with computers by playing with them.
The writers in this issue describe finding their way into computers through games. Some gamers are just in it for fun, while others get into managing gamer communities, and even go pro. Some gamers discover that the game isn’t what they expected—or that play is something different than what the game’s designers intended.
Sometimes, though, gaming gets serious. Games can embody a set of assumptions, even an ideology. Playing a game about cities, for example, you can absorb assumptions about how cities are supposed to be run.

Explore the different dimensions of "play" and how our lives, our culture, and our world can actually be shaped by it. From the perspective of a game, we delve deeper into the underlying mechanisms that make our world run and the different rules, contexts, assumptions, and scenarios that happen. How we respond and act will largely depend on the way we "play these games".

(Image credit: Mpho Mojapelo/Unsplash)


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