Our “Preferred” Alternative to Imaginative Play

We gave up our figurines, plushies, dolls, and plastic houses and castles when we felt oppressed by societal age to leave them behind. Some of us held onto our imaginations still, and fewer put that imagination to use in creating worlds and stories to share with others… Others who may have forgotten their own imagination left behind long ago. We are considered mature for leaving behind these toys, stories, and fictitious worlds.

However, playing videogames is a fairly common and even popular activity among adults. A college student is not usually found playing with action figures outside in some wild story he invented himself, rather it is normal to see him seated at his computer or console with controller in hand. At the most, we see an adult reading a wild fantasy novel or watching a similarly-themed TV show, fully immersed in the world of another… Yet never do we see her pick up an old figurine and take to the carpet contriving some event for their little character. Most would consider her odd if she ever did so, and she would be ridiculed.

We play videogames and watch oodles of fantasy shows all day long, but are simply not found running around in the woods or the backyard pretending we can fly or cast spells on others. If we did so we would be known as insane.

And yet, somehow, it is not considered insane to spend a great deal of our time playing videogames. When playing videogames, we are quite literally playing with someone else’s toys in someone else’s imaginated world. When wholly fixated on a TV show, we are rooting ourselves in one place to do nothing but watch someone else bring their imaginated play to life. At least reading gives us a more educated means of motivation and inspiration, yet we hardly ever act on that motivation.

It is frowned upon to continue playing with our toys in our made-up worlds and incredible stories which we created ourselves. However, it is rather accepted to put that all aside, and play in someone else’s world with someone else’s things. Imagine the people who create those games and stories… They are just looking for someone to play with them by their own rules. 🙂

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