Sometimes we play without being present, or in site specific ways and we have finally written a bit about a few of those other projects
so hop on over to read about introvert playground, shanty towns for magic users, hackable hopscotch and more...
Spring has sprung and for the fourth year, The Introvert Playground is back in Aarhus. Find it at Ingerslevs Boulevard, Aarhus, Denmark from 30th March and all through summer.
Conventional playgrounds are - possibly without anyone ever giving it much thought - designed for extroverts. They are places of ruckus and risk-taking, designed to cater to as many kids as possible - they are loud, wild and social places. The quieter, more daydreaming, introverted kids often prefer solitary, non-physical play that mostly takes place in the mind and over the last year, a secret club - a Danmark based play initiative with a fittingly playful name - has dreamt up and built the playground for introverted play.
Play and the value of playing is enjoying a lot of attention at the moment, but there are huge differences between introverted and extroverted play - the latter is often seen as more valuable, because it builds social skills, whereas introverted children are often seen as creatures who need to come out of their shells.
In fact, western society as a whole seems to favour the extrovert ideal with our brainstorming sessions, open plan offices and team for every occasion, but quieter, less action packed and more comtemplatative play can be a gateway to creative thinking. Introverts often mull things over, they invent new worlds and explore them in the minds, they wonder and question and interpret reality to tell themselves tales - traits that are very similar to those used by critical, creative thinkers. The Introvert Playground looks nothing like a playground. First of all, it is tiny. There's just room for one child inside it. You play on your own here. It is also clearly handmade rather than mass produced - it's hut-like qualities suggest that a person - a character made it. There is only one, you will not find another like it anywhere else.
It features a cabinet of curiosity - not quite a museum, but a collection of objects meant to make you wonder and dream. One object is a remnant of a locally controversial piece of art made by Katharina Grosse for last year's European Capital of Culture in which she spray painted part of a park. When the artwork was disassembled, pink and white leaves from the project littered the streets, one of these is now on display in the playground. The playground's objects are meant to suggest and encourage the invention of creative stories: The painted leaf seemingly has no connection to the 30's photograph of a small ship - until the child invents one.
At the very top there's a - slightly altered - visual translation of an old, Danish lullaby, each verse formed by a cutout and lit by the sun, through hidden holes, creating a zoom that ends with the complete, unknown darkness of a sausage in the belly of a bird in an egg in its nest...
Many of our workshops can be turned into online versions, but one in particular felt obvious to translate into lockdown-friendly version: Our medal making workshop, where you are usually sat around a table, making the workshops the Queen hasn't yet figured out that you deserve.
During the last year, we have made medals online in Danish, English and German. We have made them with grown-ups as well as kids and in December we tailor-made a medal making workshop for grown-ups trying to remember the kids they once were.
The online medal making workshop can be easily transformed and adapted - we can send out packages with materials, or provide a list of interesting things to collect in advance. The one with the adults remembering their childhood selves was a complete kit that looked like this:
This particular one started out as a very official form for the participants to fill out with favourite childhood colours, best scars and so on. Only when they reached the halfway point of the workshop, the medal started to reveal itself...
We have learned a lot about playing online throughout the year and it is an exciting medium where participants are guided through an experience, with room for detours and surprises along the way.
Now, more than ever, people need magic, medals and disguised surprises: The transforming form also contained a hidden competition that sent participants on a (post workshop) micro-quest.
For more on how and what we can play online, please do contact us. The bureaucratic form that became a medal was developed for COC - Playful Minds.
We recently developed a new game for grown-ups to play at conferences and in other situations where interesting people spend time together inside slightly boring buildings.
But most of the boring buildings are closed and we really shouldn't meet up with too many, too interesting people, so we have made a play-at-home version of the game. Just in case you get a bit bored.
You can play alone or with your family. Every day, we pick a card for you. Each card has a Stay-At-Home mission, feel free to share what you make and feel free to share the game with other bored people you may know.
Apologies that the header is in Danish, we wanted to play straight away, so we haven't made an English language one yet. It says: 'Always Be Adventuring'
Here is your last mission: