Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Magic Circle

So this morning, BEFORE I spilled my second cup of coffee all over myself and the kitchen floor, I was drinking my first cup and reading my new Harper's magazine. There was an interesting article about games as teaching, and someone mentioned the Magic Circle. I've only done the most cursory Wiki search for the term and came up with this:
The seminal text in play studies is Homo Ludens by Johan Huizinga. This work popularised the notion of the Magic Circle as a conceptual space in which play occurs. That is, the state in which the various actions in play have meaning...
So when you are in the circle, you do the things (kicking a ball in soccer, acting out a word in charades, delivering a well-deserved spanking*) that makes the game/play happen. There is also a safety in that circle. You can behave in ways that you wouldn't in other aspects of life. I realized how much I was enjoying smashing people over the head while I was playing Black Knight last evening, where I wouldn't really enjoy doing it to people in real life.

What this discovery means is that I have a new way to think about something that's been missing. What I want to do now is find/create/recognize magic circles in my life and to give myself permission to act and enjoy while in the circle.

School is a magic circle of sorts - it has it's own rules. I notice too that people 'forgive' things of a student that they wouldn't of a non-student. School is one place where I need to accept that failure (or at least incomplete, non-pristene success) is okay.

*Intimate/sexual relationships have magic circles too!

And friendships, and families.


Okay, now that the kitchen floor is dry, I'm going to go attempt to brew another second cup of coffee.

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