Homo Ludens (book)

Homo ludens [ hɔmo ː lu ː de ː ns] (Latin homo ludens, dt, the gambling man ) is a model of explanation, according to which man above all about the game developed his skills: He discovered the game its individual properties, and is about the experience gained to the possibilities inherent in it personality. Freedom of action games is here equated and requires its own thinking. The model states: A person needs the game as an elementary form of sense - finding

Term origin

The concept of homo ludens has become known in modern times, especially by the title of the book by Johan Huizinga (1938 /39), in which he tries to show that our cultural systems such as politics, science, religion, law, etc. originally from playful behaviors developed ( self-organization ) and have strengthened institutionally ritualizations over time. From game is " holy seriousness ", and if the rules have only really " played ", they are no longer to change without further ado and in turn begin to adopt coercive nature.

Huizinga chose his name a contrast term for the typing of the homo faber ( Anthropology ) used in the philosophical anthropology of Max Scheler since 1928, the Max Frisch in 1957 took over as the title for his eponymous hit novel Homo Faber (novel). In contrast to the " game ends People " featured this the " working people, people make craft ". In the economic sector, in addition established a so-called homo economicus.

Homo ludens and homo faber

The game scientists Siegbert A. Warwitz and Anita Rudolf characterize the homo ludens and homo faber as two different forms of appropriation of the world in the game and arrange them anthropologically under the species of Homo sapiens: the homo ludens they describe as a type, of the self-sufficient, purposeless game will sense about coincidences and possibilities, and thereby incidentally acquires knowledge of the world, while the homo faber uses the purposeful, systematic built in game consequences for the learning experience gain. During the homo ludens plays intrinsically motivated exploited the homo faber the game specifically as a learning game for out-of- game objectives. During the homo ludens rather in unguided free play of children is visible, is the homo faber more in educational, psychological and therapeutic areas to the course. (see also Game Science, Children's ).

Other proponents of the concept

Friedrich Schiller raised in his letters On the Aesthetic Education of Man, the importance of playing and spoke out against the specialization and mechanization of life processes. According to Schiller, the game is a human power, which alone is able to bring the wholeness of human capabilities. Schiller also coined the now famous aphorism: "Man only plays when he is human in the full sense of the word, and he is only completely a man when he plays ."

One of Schiller's similar criticism of the reduction in life eventually also practiced Herbert Marcuse in his 1967 published work One-Dimensional Man, in which he criticized the associated with the predominance of " instrumental reason " in industrialized societies restriction of the life and culture that does not place more for wholeness, personal development and autonomous self-development leave. Much like Friedrich Schiller Herbert Marcuse therefore considers a return to the aesthetic and playful as desirable to create own sake, contrary to the ubiquitous constraints clearance for a human activity by self-imposed rules and to their.

Even artists such as Asger Jorn (1914-1973) and the Situationist International were of such approaches.

Potential of the game

In summary it can be stated that the game is a basic human activity, creativity, and releases energy and power in competition. To make the game contains the potential to break through solidified structures and produce innovation. Therefore playful elements are also included in many creative techniques and modern management training courses that aim to generate new, creative and innovative results. Thus one speaks of a ludic turn in media theory, which is characterized by the dominance of game applications on the computer, and from ludischem innovation behavior. The game seems to be a human activity that is able to change the elements of a situation so that the new and unknown is created and solutions for seemingly no longer solvable problems can be found. According to Huizinga, the game also serves for the discharge of affects. He stands in the tradition of Aristotle's doctrine of catharsis.