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PlayLabs Research Program 2021-22

Could Play be a 'Human Superpower' that has helped our species survive and thrive against all odds?

Can we harness the Power of Play to solve the impossibly complex problems facing humanity now... and into an unknown future?

Our research will investigate and demonstrate how Play can be applied to:

Education and learning

Fostering and harnessing creativity

Healthcare & wellness

Environmental challenges

Raising productivity

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Business & enterprise

Prisons and rehabilitation

Mental and family health

AI and technology advancements

Shared resources & circular economies

Greed, injustice & prejudice of all kinds

Resilience to catastrophic change

Navigating the future

Growing Play Resources

PlayLabs is committed to share our research findings into the history, theory and application of Play, with ongoing content and references added below on a regular basis.

In 1949, Dutch historian Johan Huizinga wrote of the role of play in culture: "Ritual grew up in sacred play; poetry was born in play and nourished on play; music and dancing were 'pure play'… We must conclude, therefore, that civilization was, in its earliest phases, played. It does not come from play, it arises in and as play, and never leaves".

Brian Sutton-Smith was a play theorist who spent his lifetime attempting to discover the cultural significance of play in human life, arguing that any useful definition of play must apply to both adults and children. > Read more 

Stuart Brown TED TalkPlay is More than Fun

If you or your organisation are interested in contributing to our research, please get in touch here.


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In a new study by Brigham Young University, teams that played a collaborative (video) game together for just 45 minutes were able to increase their productivity on a task by 20%. Perhaps all those expensive team-building programs or outlandish group retreats are over-reaching. > Read more

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If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re on a mission to be as productive as possible. After all, there’s always more to do when you’re a high achiever. You want to accomplish more, achieve success, and continuously be on top of your game. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that > Read more

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Imagine a workplace where people are allowed to play and even better encouraged to play. Believe it or not, that is what is happening in some organizations. Look at Google, all employees have access to and can play during their workday. They have all sorts of activities like bowling, > Read more

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Next-generation competition isn’t coming from your industry but your arena – a fluid competitive landscape where unexpected players address the same customer needs, or compete for the same money and attention as you. > Read more

Play develops resilience, it strengthens parent-child relationships, supports children’s development and promotes mental health & wellbeing. A 2018 study by the LEGO Group found that 89% of parents enjoy playtime as much as their child does and 91% believe it’s good for their own wellbeing. > Read more

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