Monday musing on making and play – 2/27/23

The way we look at the world is influenced by our experiences and preconceptions. We use them to understand something new and to develop perspective. In doing so, we synthesize information from one context to inform another.
The experiences that I often find myself synthesizing are those of making and play. Both of these things are important to my work over the last decade as a game designer and product designer.
Making is an activity of exploration. You work with the material and speak through the material to arrive at a creation that becomes. When we craft, the outcome synthesizes the initial idea with the material’s limitations.
Play is exploration in many ways, too. In play, the rules continuously change. We can make them up as we go along. Play unfolds in front of us much as making becomes. Like making teaches us about the world outside ourselves, play teaches us how to interact with people, objects, and environment.
Making to me, then, is an activity of play. Like play, it explores while challenging boundaries and being open to ever-changing rules. It’s learning through action and doing. It’s a way of understanding.