By Marjatta Kalliala
This paintings is helping readers to reassess the contribution of play in adolescence. It is helping adults to appreciate that youngsters have their very own play tradition, and in addition is helping practitioners to mirror at the means they inspire childrens to play by way of figuring out their play tradition.
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Additional resources for Play Culture in a Changing World (Debating Play)
Niina says, ‘Well, someone has to guard something. ’ 46 Play Culture in a Changing World Using games of chance to share toys Sharing toys can be a risky business for children. Sanna says, ‘I lent an expensive toy to one of my friends but there was someone else in the play, too, and she wanted to have it too, and I tried to give to her as well. ’ Sanna, whether she makes the decision who will play with her toy, or whether she turns to a game of chance to make the decision, is nevertheless using her power as the owner of the toy.
It is typical for this game to start without a shared agreement. Girls just start to run after boys – or the reverse. Girls, boys and kissing create a tension in this game and the enjoyment of this game is to maintain this tension. The element of competition can be traced in all of these examples: • In ‘church rat’ the one who is found last or the one who rescues the others is the best. • In ‘mirror and colour’, the one who first touches the back of the leader is the best. • In tag play the ‘winner’ is the one who does not get chased.
It is fruitful to compare children’s games with adult-directed games because of the common element of competition. Perhaps moving 38 Play Culture in a Changing World from ‘church rat’ through ice-hockey-football to ordinary football does not seem a very dramatic thing to do, but the difference in quality of the competition is fundamental. The element of competition takes on a different meaning when adults define the rules of the game. There is a shift from a ‘culture of children’ to adult-created ‘culture for children’.