How to make a game piece

I studied this material this morning. It is from the Philadelphia Lectures of December, 1952. The major topic of this lecture (#39, 12 December) was the Spirit of Play. This is a high level of action that we usually experience briefly and to a small extent when we are children. It is corruptible, and has been corrupted, in most societies, and even between pairs of “players.” In its corrupted form, games are played by “players” (spiritual beings) with the help of “assistant players” and use “pieces” (like in board [bored?] games) which are other spiritual beings which the “players” are convinced are unworthy. Below the level of the “piece” is the “broken piece.”

From the lecture and lecture notes, not quite verbatim:

How to make a piece:

  • Deny there is a game.
  • Hide the rules.
  • Give all penalties, no wins.
  • Remove all goals (other than being a piece).
  • Enforce participation.
  • Inhibit enjoyment.
  • Make them look like players, but don’t allow them to be players.
  • Permit them to associate only with other pieces.
  • Deny the existence of players.
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