What does this space know?

Some thoughts from Rupert Meese

Playing with Rosie

Posted by Rupert Meese on July 3, 2009

I’m off to play with Rosie.  Rosie is the most playful person that anyone could direct me to and she’s agreed to talk to me to help me figure out some stuff.

As TED says, apart from being joyful and energizing it turns out that play matters.  This talk from the guys at Serious Play is really worth watching:

So, what am I doing playing with Rosie?  The first thing here is that this is a modelling exercise.  If you’re not familiar with the idea, it is, in essence, that people who excel in something are, almost by definition, doing something different to the rest of us.  Using the tools available from the science of subjectivity in NLP and symbolic modelling (i.e. by asking), we can find out about that difference and codify something significant about the structure of that experience or behavior that we are interested in.  What all that means is that I’m going to do what I can to copy Rosie’s way of playing.

My plan, before I go, is to find out through Rosie about Social play – I don’t know Rosie but I’m assuming because people have identified her as playful that they meant social play.  If it’s something else then I’ll only know when I get there.  What is interesting about social play?

How does one know when it is necessary.  If social play is a mammalian function (which it seems to be) then how do we know when we need more.  What internal feeling or signal is the hunger equivalent for play.  What happens to those that don’t play, are we not receiving that signal, wrongly attributing it to something else, or choosing not to satisfy it in some other way?

What are the mechanisms of human play signaling?  We all recognize play signals in dogs and cats, what are the key ones among humans?  How does someone who excels manage that negotiation differently to the rest of us?

How does play end?  What are the kinesthetic or social signals that tell us that play is at an end?

How does play relate to identity?  When playing is seems that the notion of self becomes somehow more fluid.  That as play allows aggression that is not aggression for example, so it allows parts of our selves to be exercised as not self and parts that are not self to be tried on as self.

What is the relationship between play and doubt?  There are some structural similarities, both are in some sense the negation of certainty while the experience of each is quite different.
So, these are the things that I’m hoping to find out more about.  I don’t suppose we’ll get through all of them, but I’ll write more when I know more.

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One Response to “Playing with Rosie”

  1. ruemeese said

    I had a great time with Rosie, learned a whole lot, and there’s much more to find out. I’ll write about what I do know now as soon as I get the chance. Rupert.

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