Well-Played Game

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Book: The Well-Played Game. Bernie DeKoven.

Available in full-text at http://www.deepfun.com/WPG.htm


"Understanding how to play well is a path towards understanding how to live well. With this understanding, every game you play becomes an opportunity to develop your skills at living well. Every game. This is how the search for the Well-Played Game becomes a path to wholeness. A playful path, filled with things like fun and community, spontaneity and creativity, agility and light-heartedness."


Don Ardell, The Wellness Report:

"I wrote about wellness as a game in the first day or chapter of 14 Days To Wellness ("Learn the Rules of the Wellness Game"), but DeKoven takes the idea much farther than I did. His notion of a game Well-Played is clever and sensible, and the drills, principles, exercises and varied applications of this concept may help a lot of folks in long-term effective self-management.

"The Well-Played Game blends concepts of play and game to yield "the experience and expression of excellence." DeKoven targets the book to those who "care more about fun than winning and who want to make themselves, their friends, in fact, the whole world more fun." Who would not be interested in that?

"The bottom line and focus of the book, however, are the connections made between games well-played and the four questions posed above. DeKoven describes (and prescribes) a community of people who care more about fun than winning, who play well together, want to keep fun happening, prolong it, and find it repeatedly with other games and varied players. He writes about cheating and fairness, keeping score, time outs, coaches, changing old games, making up new games and more.

"DeKoven's Well-Played Game is designed to increase your ability to accept challenges and look for more challenges. In the author's words, "What connects games with reality is that they are lifelike. What separates them is that they are not for real. What unites them with the totality of experience is not just their metaphorical quality but the manner in which they are played." But games, the fun kind played properly, do not result in separation, the norm in the extant world. "Separation divides us into winners and losers, or those who have achieved and those who have failed." Better, DeKoven writes, that victory be viewed not so much as who won, but the quality of play that people managed to create together. While some of this may seem fine in theory but impractical or otherwise unlikely, his examples may lead most reader to conclude otherwise.

"Trust, familiarity and new conventions (or norms) must all be attended and redesigned to establish the needed intentions to play well together - and DeKoven outlines many ways to do just that in a wide range of settings. Bernie DeKoven has spent a good part of 30 years developing and implementing events involving the cooperation of groups of all ages and sizes, from couples and families to schools and communities. His conviction that "life without fun is not worth much" is expressed repeatedly in this creative work. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote, "Bernie is the only person I know who not only knows about play, but knows how to teach it. May his efforts prosper, for they help us all." I agree! " (http://www.deepfun.com/WPG.htm)