Devil’s Plaything: On the Boundary between Playful and Serious

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With point of departure in the concepts of positive negative experiences (Hopeametsä 2008; Montola 2010), deep play (Geertz, 1973, 432-433; Schechner 2013, 118-119), brink play (Poremba 2007), and the bleed effect (Montola 2010; Waern 2010), this paper discusses how games tackle serious and controversial issues in the context of play. The paper’s central argument is that seriousness is not only possible in games and play, but that seriousness is a prerequisite and a necessary aspect of all play activities.

By: Kristine Jørgensen