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Special Issue Call

Within play research, two oppositely directed narratives seamlessly co-exist. On the one hand, play is described as an optimized form of the learning activity that helps children and adults reduce the uncertainties they encounter in the world so that they, over time, may navigate it with more ease. On the other hand, however, play is also considered to be a creative and somewhat disruptive activity that facilitates novel behavioral patterns and innovative breakthroughs by changing and manipulating the environment and by breaking down traditional rules of conduct. Satisfactory models of play have to account for both of these aspects. They have to explain why it is that play is as much about learning rules as it is about breaking and making them.

Covering topics such as fun, naughtiness, norms, surprise generation, transgression and playing with rules, we welcome contributions from a range of researchers from a multitude of disciplines that each explores and analyses the dual nature of playful processes. By mixing psychological, sociological, anthropological, and educational approaches to play, we are aiming to explore the effects of such processes on individual and societal levels and discuss the implications this may have for development, education, innovation, and research.

Keywords: play, playfulness, learning, cognitive sciences, psychology, playful processes, PLAYTrack Conference