Characteristics of Worldplay

Worldplay appeared to be a solitary, or perhaps intimately shared, pastime. Over the years nearly everyone in my extended family heard or saw something of Kar, yet immersion in that make-believe remained a solo pursuit for Meredith. Thomas Malkin, Hartley Coleridge, Barbara FoUett, and Stanislaw Lem also played alone. Friedrich Nietzsche played in the imaginary world of King Squirrel with his sister; C. S. Lewis played in Boxen with his brother.

Worldplay looked to be constructive, that is to say, creative in the broadest sense of making things come into existence. Hartley related his dreams of Ejuxria out loud to all who might listen; some of those stories he wrote down in long letters to family and friends. Thomas composed histories and stories and music, as did Meredith, as did Friedrich. Young Stanislaw sewed together play passports; young Claes Oldenburg put together imaginary airplanes from sundry kits. Thomas, Barbara, Meredith, and a young Maurice Baring constructed pretend languages and dictionaries.

Worldplay seemed to be imitative, involving the plausible transposition of knowledge gained in the real world. Thomas imitated the geographical pattems and fine detail of real cartography in his map of Allestone. Meredith borrowed the plots and structures of fairy tales. Friedrich transposed what he had seen of a traveling exhibi¬ tion of artwork into a gallery for King Squirrel, taking care that the pictures were to scale. Stanislaw invested his pseudomachines with the trappings of precise measurement and authenticity.

Worldplay appeared to be complex and cumulative, involving the ongoing collec¬ tion of detail. Thomas elaborated the history of his Allestonians and their institutions, CtllW 111(^11 lllOL^vv. Claes filled notebook after notebook with drawings and plans for the daily material culture of Neubem. Meredith catalogued numerous aspects of Kar culture, amassing a visual encyclopedia of substantial proportions.

Worldplay was apparently integrative and synthetic. Care was taken to fit ongoing elaborations into the fabric of the imaginary world in ways that made sense—hence the histories and conmpendiums, the dictionaries and lists. In the process of bringing so much of their learning to bear in one game of play, Thomas, Hartley, Wamie and Jacks, Stanislaw, Claees, and Meredith, too, all drew on their developing powers of wonder and imagination, of problem solving and creating.

Finally, worldplay seemed a seminal experience, remembered over the course of a lifetime. It touched not only the child at play, but the adult recalling that play. The memoirs of C. S. Lewis and Stanislaw Lem waxed poetic with regard to the lifelong meaning they had found in the imaginary worlds of their childhood. Observing and sometimes sharing the worldplay as a parent or sibling also had lasting influence. Benjamin Malkin, Derwent Coleridge, Elizabeth Forster-Nietzsche, all expressed their deep delight in the playftil wonders of home-grown imaginary worlds. So, too, had I.


Folksonomies: play imagination paracosms world play

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/science/social science/history (0.411313)
/family and parenting/children (0.279423)

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Worldplay Worldplay:Person (0.855693 (:0.000000)), Meredith:Person (0.843081 (:0.000000)), Thomas Malkin:Person (0.829632 (:0.000000)), Stanislaw Lem:Person (0.774139 (:0.000000)), Hartley Coleridge:Person (0.542622 (:0.000000)), Friedrich Nietzsche:Person (0.486056 (:0.000000)), Claes Oldenburg:Person (0.395228 (:0.000000)), King Squirrel:GeographicFeature (0.367542 (:0.000000)), C. S. Lewis:Person (0.342523 (:0.000000)), Kar:Person (0.322371 (:0.000000)), Barbara FoUett:Person (0.311032 (:0.000000)), Benjamin Malkin:Person (0.296874 (:0.000000)), Maurice Baring:Person (0.283193 (:0.000000)), Derwent Coleridge:Person (0.268606 (:0.000000)), Ejuxria:Location (0.240123 (:0.000000)), Boxen:Location (0.238815 (:0.000000)), Allestone:Location (0.235985 (:0.000000)), Neubem:Location (0.227005 (:0.000000)), Elizabeth Forster-Nietzsche:Person (0.217976 (:0.000000)), Jacks:Person (0.180000 (:0.000000)), Claees:Person (0.177839 (:0.000000))

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (0.929275): dbpedia_resource
English poets (0.759948): dbpedia_resource
Hartley Coleridge (0.733920): dbpedia_resource
Derwent Coleridge (0.730685): dbpedia_resource
Family (0.710084): dbpedia_resource
Existentialism (0.704499): dbpedia_resource
Imagination (0.681566): dbpedia_resource
The Imaginary (0.664125): dbpedia_resource

 Inventing Imaginary Worlds, From Childhood Play to Adult Creativity Across the Arts and Sciences
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Root-Bernstein, Michele (2014), Inventing Imaginary Worlds, From Childhood Play to Adult Creativity Across the Arts and Sciences, Retrieved on 2018-01-06
Folksonomies: imagination worldplay paracosms