Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Play Entry 1

The journaling thing is interesting because  it's going to force me to think in my own terms of play and work and why I am here at all.

One of the things about the Myers-Briggs system is that I was introduced to it by outsider business people - I mention them because they are like outsider artists and they interact with tools business while holding themselves outside it.

The Fantek organization was heavily devoted to play when all forms of play were considered things to be put aside. The 80's to me in retrospect looks like what happens when people make a number of huge mistakes in college and then spend the rest of their lives pretending that never happened.

It coincides for me with my move from city to suburb. Suburbs do not actually have spaces for play because their children don't leave unsupervised - I used to try to go to the park but there were never any kids there- the teens that would show up at dusk and be chased away by dark would be involved in something considered "loitering" but for them might be considered play.

So that's a thing - there'll be more of this here. My other independent study is an auto-ethnography - we started scoping it out yesterday and the focus is on interaction with computer science - but all of that  work is buried under or made of play.

I worked on fringes of "real jobs" in unreal spaces or had real jobs in fringe spaces before I moved into things that are more easily read - this brings us back to Myers Briggs,

The various places that engage with it treated it like children treat games not like businesses use game. It was a code, a secret that could help people say "the right thing" if they could figure out which type the other person was. It was before autism gave a name to many participants of outsider cultures in arts and science. They were proud of their letters and when getting you to interact with it made them appealing using playful means.

My original test brought me to ENFP - and the joke was that all the successful ENFPs ended up being charismatic dictators - but the other currency was rarity - just like in my collectible card game field work.

The primacy of "T" was very high in this supposed space of "fun" in science fiction convention organization.  "F" was called out for being powerful and discussed as being culturally dominant but it was patently untrue in practice - however "f" plus "t"tendencies was a prized combo. This is because it meant someone might be able to talk to both sides.

That environment used Myers Briggs like a language - theoretically that space was dedicated to the creation and consumption of fantasy. In practice it reified primacy of quantification and engineering but it was poor, aspirational and composed of a strong line of Appalachian families that had suburbanized looking for survival and work. Science fiction was not an "escape" but an actual building of a home culture.

Different thought
"Actors are people who were so good at playing Pretend when they were kids, they went Pro" - David White - Acting Prof at Montco.

I was an actor first- I miss the work of it so hard that every time I go back to touch it intentionally it hurts like I've been punched - this is not "play" but the product "puts on a a play".

During the class last week one of our business minded classmates was going over a definition that she disagreed with only one word which was "fantasy" - "I'm very reality based" it was automated - we are at a school that interacts with it's resemblance to a fantasy novel in very direct ways.

Discussion during a different meeting environment discussion the culture of a dorm. "Its where LARPing is going to happen on the lawns which is great if Live Action Role-playing is your thing but if you were looking to be in a pro-social space it will be disruptive to the pro-social person and the culture of that space"

The assumption there is that the culture that creates LARPs is different and not-pro social compared to the dorm with the reputation for a culture that puts primacy on queerness and parties. Parties in this case would include dance/drink/romantic opportunity. LARPS are play - the speaker doesn't LARP.

In that construction play isn't pro-social.

I am playing with my class construction like lego blocks in my publisher's house.

We throw teas - I am the anthro senior rep - the teas involve an element of play through theme - they are a recruitment tool - I am trained for throwing out ideas quickly - "most of the time between anthro and Halloween we end up with things involving skeletons," she said, indicating that she has saved items to be reused over the years

Me: "We could do Victorian Skeleton Tea parties and honor both the cultural and the physical"

Her: "I'm not sure how you could pull that off" but I can supplement that from my closet at home: temporally based transient events with food are my medium for outsider art - this is easy and it is "play" where I take and expected thing and "play with it" until it becomes a thing that entertains others and meets a goal/need but also entertains me.

Because of Myers Briggs and Quiet ( which I continue to find problematic) I am thinking about where my energy is coming from - writing in a way in which is thinking is happening at odd inconvienient times (4 am on the train before my stop) - small groups and conversations are happening which are energizing, but the recharging is happening, not just alone, but not often enough. However "energy generation" is happening when I interact with someone's structure and work to alter it into something else that is where the amusement is happening - that is where the self part is happening and that is where the "joy" is that is play. It happened in a meeting too - there is too much aspect of the trickster (cultural anthropological category)  in all of my interactions with systems - the trickster builds things and needed a category because it also destroy and white male western culture didn't have a corollary so they built one.

It was the Anthropology of tricksters class that "grounded" me in UN-grounding me and freed me to be able to do my work without apologizing for being a person outside the margins. Or even being a person here.

Is the Trickster play? Is my own play only "joyful" when I get to "play" with other peoples rules to make them do things they weren't built for? or maybe they were built for them and the "play" is to get them back to what their designer wanted instead of how they warped.

I'm playing when I look at a rule, every rule - rules are toys - even my own.

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