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Bernie DeKoven's Occasional Newsletters: #11 - The Well-Played Game, cont'd


#11 - The Well-Played Game, cont'd

Bernie DeKoven's Occasional Newsletter #11

It's about The Well-Played Game

It's free. It's online from June 15 (this Thursday) to June 30. It's a Virtual Chataqua about The Well-Played Game.

Drop by. Read a comment. Make a comment. Ask a question. Answer one. Add to a growing dialogue about games and community, fun and wisdom, play and life.

Celia Pearce writes: "This is one of the most brilliant and overlooked books on games to-date. Drawing on practical experience 'in the field,' this self-made game designer/philosopher/educator/ethnographer does an in-depth analysis of the socio-psychological dynamics of (pre-digital) gameplay that is better than almost anything generated in the rapidly expanding academic field of Game Studies. For anyone interested in playing, studying, designing, or writing about games, this should be a perennial and oft-referenced bookshelf companion."

Bernie continues: "Understanding how to play well is a path towards understanding how to live well. With this understanding, every game you play becomes an opportunity to develop your skills at living well. Every game. This is how the search for the Well-Played Game becomes a path to wholeness. A playful path, filled with things like fun and community, spontaneity and creativity, agility and light-heartedness."

A Mobile for the Mind

Earth as a marble - from NASAI've been recording more or less weekly "FunCasts" for almost a year now. Many of them have been rather straight-forward readings of articles on my Deep Fun website. Last week, I made this recording of "A Million Ways to Play Marbles, at Least" - an article I wrote about 30 years ago, and was originally included in the appendix of the 1978 edition of The Well-Played Game.

This time, the recording session was different. It was, well, smooth. The reading was at least 4-times longer than any of my previous FunCasts. And I read it all in one take. And when I listened to it, to myself, really, reading something I, myself, wrote, I heard a whole new thing. I could almost see what I was saying. I could almost see the marbles rolling and shattering and reforming, like a Mandelbrot fractal.

My friend Gary Berlind (a viola da gamba player in Turkey) calls my reading of A Million Ways to Play Marbles, at Least, a "Mobile for the Mind." Because when he listened to it, he envisioned this lovely, ever-unfolding multimedia production, with music and animation and marbley meanderings. So vivid was his Imaginary Multimedia experience he even suggested I initiate a global initiative, a challenge, a contest,  a Multimediated Mental Marble Mobile-Making Marathon.

Because, in its own oddly moving way, my Marble Mind Mobile captures pretty much the essence of everything I've been teaching about games and play ever since I was old enough understand the connection.

I am almost embarrassed about my enthusiasm for this recording. It almost feels a bit, shall we say, "self-promoting" when I say things like: "you should not only listen to me reading the marbles thing, but also share it with every kid you know who is between the ages of 8-12, and every teenager, too. And adults, especially those who have grown too far up."

But I decided it's not. Self-promoting. Because it's not really my self that I'm promoting, even though I read and wrote the whole, marbleous thing. It's not about me, actually, at all. And, come to think about it, not even so much about marbles, either. Frankly, it's about fun. About the fun we're having and the fun we're creating. It's about the Big Game. And the Big Marble. And the sheer fun of it all.


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