But Proyer urges people not to be afraid to have fun in something not normally associated with adults. Socially acceptable adult games, like board games for example, often come with a list of rules and require a specific environment to be played. This encourages less creativity and spontaneous playful behavior despite the elements of chance and strategy, says Proyer. Sometimes activities like this also involve competition and the frustration associated with winning and losing. Essentially, the more unexpected the interaction or activity, the better it is to experience and improve your game, he says.
Your enjoyment of playing may depend on both your personality and your willingness to be open to new forms of conversation and experience. Proyer suggests that if you’re most playful at home with your partner or family, for example, try using similar conversational techniques with more distant co-workers or friends and watch the results. With the evidence pointing so strongly to a wide range of social benefits, it can’t hurt to look a little closer at those little moments that make a much bigger difference to both you and others than you might think. people you interact with.
At first glance, it might seem that most adults don’t play as often as they would like – perhaps, as Proyer suggests, because socially acceptable adult games aren’t that fun, and those that do are may be considered embarrassing depending on the activity. . But, Sebastian Deterding, professor of digital creativity at the University of York, says that for adults to engage in playful activities guilt-free, they can prepare with socially acceptable “excuses”.
He gives the example of The Mindfulness Coloring Book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People by Emma Farrarons which aims to make the embarrassing act of adult coloring socially acceptable when coupled with the “alibi” that it is therapy for successful people.
However, with the rise of social media over the past few decades, the goal posts for what constitutes embarrassing play have shifted. Platforms like Youtube and Twitch in particular popularize gaming culture. Mollie Faux-Wilkins, gaming YouTuber and Twitch streamer, known as The English Simmer to her audience of over 300,000 subscribers, says that for her, playing The Sims (a life simulation video game) is not was never embarrassing and was in fact encouraged by his parents from a young age. Playing The Sims, as well as the majority of other video games, can be an isolating experience, she says. But with the creation and growth of her channel, she was welcomed into a global community, making friends from all over the world and connecting with like-minded gamers in a fun activity.