Fun: Imagination, Whimsicality, and Games

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Einstein has been reported as saying “Imagination is more important than intelligence. For knowledge is limited to all we know  and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there will ever be to know and understand.”  While is a far reaching philosophical quote, when a man with one of the greatest minds in history shares his thoughts they are worth investigating.

But, Einstein is not the only historical figure who believed in the power of imagination. A famous quote by renowned artist, Salvador Dali is as far reaching ” I don’t do drugs, I am drugs.” While that does not seem related there is a sarcasm in the works of his quote that utilizes the connotation and denotation the words he is using. In short he is playing with the words, as he often did with imagery and colors.

We say he is playing because he is taking a particular license to use objects, in this case language in an explorative and novel way. It isn’t so much that he is communicating an exact statement but more a feeling. We all do this and in a certain way it is a much more effective way of communicating certain things. Namely emotions.

There is an inherent pleasure in play and we call that “fun”. There is a liberty afforded to us that allows our spirits to be fully expressive without fear of judgement because there is no expectation. As creatives we need fun to recharge us from those times when we do not have that liberty. It is an entirely different process to do something you love like paint for example when you have clear parameters on what you create, in those instance we call this work.

Fun, describes these things that give us pleasure be it simple, like eating a donut, or complex like the gratification of completing a puzzle. But we also have the option of gamifying things that we ordinarily see as work. Some examples of this are games like Battleship, which is a child’s version of commanding a Naval fleet, but the game was so successful at communicating strategy that for a period it became part of the military training at the Naval Academy.

When we couple fun with work we can achieve great results in the way of learning and productivity. We will look at why this is the case this month as well as other reasons fun is beneficial in work life.

Living dynamic lives means we should also look to the social, romantic, and personal implications of fun as well. While we are at it should we not look at how protest, and rebellion are exorcised in fun ways, though the results may only be fun for half the group involved.

Silliness is not without its place in our culture, as we value satire and comedy in various forms we should also not its philosophical significance. So much of how we receive ideas is based on how they are presented and sometimes ideas are too potent for us to handle directly so wrap them in a light hearted shell so that they are more digestible, a spoon full of sugar so to speak.

You may find that this month reveals itself in some un orthodox ways as we play with the format of our delivery and perhaps even the site.

It is is all done in good fun.

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