The Importance of “Play”

Like most kids, growing up, I would often get lost in “play.” You know “play.” It’s what happens when the world fades away. When time becomes meaningless. Hours, days, weekends lost to the joy of being completely absorbed into something so fun and engaging that NOTHING else matters.

I am incredibly fortunate to have grown up alongside an amazing brother. Through our shared experiences, I’ve come to understand and deeply appreciate a new perspective about “play.”

  1. “Play” looks different for every child and that is beautiful.
  2. “Play” changes and evolves.
  3. “Play” is unending.

“Play” looks different for every child and that is beautiful — Wow is that true! Reflecting back to my own childhood, my brother and I played VERY differently from one another. I didn’t realize at the time, but while “play” often happened together, it wasn’t the same type of “play.”

Our “play” often revolved around Legos. We would play with them for HOURS. I’m not exaggerating when I say we would spend entire weekends building towns and space ports and pirate coves.

Looking back at how we would “play,” I can see that he focused on the technology of what we would create. He was obsessed with the detail of the construction and the intricacies of moving parts. He was drawn to the mechanics of how everything came together.

I, on the other hand didn’t see Legos at all…I was transported into a world of imagination. Stories were all that mattered. Mini-Figures would come to life as real characters in the most amazing adventures you could have ever dreamed of.

While this duality to collective “play” might seem conflicting or even chaotic…we didn’t know any better. To us, it was just “play.” And it was beautiful. It was the purest form of collaborative. My imagination spoke stories into existence that he would build, and those builds would carry those stories further…and so forth, and so on. Neither of our own versions of “play” were as powerful without the other. Our different mindsets created something truly beautiful.

Play changes and evolves — You know what’s truly magical about that collective, collaborative version of “play?” It permanently changed both of us. The more we played together, the more our own versions of “play” began to become one. My brother, the analytical mind who’s version of “play” was driven by the details of construction, technology, mechanics, movement, and form…began to lose himself in the imaginative worlds. He began to dream up his own stories and ideas. In-turn, I, the story-driven, imaginative dreamer, began to see the bricks for the first time. I began to see the beauty of our co-created worlds through his eyes…the amazing tolerances of how well the pieces fit together, the beauty in the symmetry of a building. I started to see the importance of how the technology and design of this interconnected block system was quite literally the foundation of our worlds.

We changed.

By the time we entered our teens, we almost had a completely shared version of “play.” Equal parts dream, equal parts technology.

Play is unending — I’ve always found it odd that most adults don’t “play.” For so many, at some point in life, the idea of “play” is somehow lost, transformed into something else entirely: “work.” When did those things become incompatible? Why can’t “work” and “play” be one in the same?

Today as adults, I would tell you that my brother and I are two different people that share one very similar mind. He is a gifted leader, skilled in analytical thinking, organizational structure, and mechanical engineering…but he is also one of the most creative people I’ve ever known. This duality is part of him and as a result, he approaches everything he does in life with a sense of “play.”

Every day I still dream. I imagine stories and envision characters. I get lost in art and creativity. I have built a career around storytelling, managing amazing teams of the brightest and most creative minds out there, and bringing people together in collaboration to accomplish the impossible…but I’m also obsessed with technology. I’m drawn to how things work, to how the world is glued together. This duality is part of me and as a result, I approach everything I do in life with a sense of “play.”

I’ve never forgotten my roots. How “play” with my brother helped me become who I am today. It’s this sense of “play” that has lead me here…to Babylon.js and being a part of one of the most amazing teams of people on the planet.

Every day, I help develop a platform that empowers “play.”

https://playground.babylonjs.com/#TWQZAU#3

It enables dreamers, artists, storytellers, and those that get lost in the world of imagination. It also empowers engineers, developers, builders, and those that are fascinated by how the world works.

Babylon.js = “play”;

To those of you reading this that think the word “play” is a 4-letter word, that it’s considered childish, immature, and odd. I humbly disagree. It is inside each of us. It’s part of you. It may look a little different than it did when we were kids, but it’s there, infused into our DNA, waiting for you to come “play.”

https://twitter.com/pirate_jc

Babylon.js: Powerful, Beautiful, Simple, Open — Web-Based 3D At Its Best. https://www.babylonjs.com/

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