Homo Ludens

In this file we deal with the arts in terms of play. The artist doesn’t so much play according to the rules of the game – he plays with the rules of the game. He creates his own world with its own codes, rules and players.
In this file we deal with the arts in terms of play. The artist doesn’t so much play according to the rules of the game – he plays with the rules of the game. He creates his own world with its own codes, rules and players.

Many aspects of our life are made up of play; be it football, implicit dress codes or social etiquette at work. The idea of the homo ludens (Latin for 'playing man') is a view of man in which man is first and foremost a playing being. The oldest known mention of the term is the title of the book Homo Ludens, a 1938 general cultural-scientific work by the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga, who became well-known for his cultural-historical magnum about the Middle Ages (Herfsttijd der Middeleeuwen). As the title suggests, Homo Ludens is about the importance of the play element of culture and society. Play as a necessary condition for the production of culture. In 2012 we organized the one-day festival Play! which ranged from the educational to artistic and serious games, from the political to the erotic game and from improvisation as a game to ‘make belief’.