The judge smiled. Men are born for games. Nothing else. Every child knows that play is nobler than work. He knows too that the worth or merit of a game is not inherent in the game itself but rather in the value of that which is put at hazard. Games of chance require a wager to have meaning at all. Games of sport involve the skill and strength of the opponents and the humiliation of defeat and the pride of victory are in themselves sufficient stake because they inhere in the worth of the principals and define them. But trial of chance or trial of worth all games aspire to the condition of war for here that which is wagered swallows up game, player, all. (p 260).
Cultural anthropologists suggest the appealing term ‘deep play’ for the comprehensively absorbing preoccupations of human beings. From the perspective of a theory of the practising life we would add: the deep plays are those which are moved by the heights.
Contest is part of human life everywhere that human life is found. In war and in games, in work and in play, physically, intellectually, and morally human beings match themselves against one another....Context is one kind of adversativeness, if we understand adversativeness in the ordinary large sense of a relationship in which beings are set against or act against one another.
Play is nebulous patterns of control, where eternalism promises complete control
Enjoyment of the dance of nebulosity and pattern, which is an aspect of play, is the characteristic feeling of the complete stance
It is hard to imagine a model of creative destruction that treats non-deterministic play as sacred, and deterministic process as profane. Institutions, as we have been able to conceive them so far, are deterministic beasts, not playful ones. For Martinet-Mom institutions, security is sacred and pain is profane. For Deadbeat-Dad institutions, romance is sacred and inertia is profane. When the two are divorced, romance sours into pain, security ossifies into inertia, and revolutions are stillborn. Yet, neither notion of the sacred captures play. Play turns possibility into necessity via a sense of absolute aesthetic certainty, and necessity into possibility by irreverent undermining of pious dogmas.