On Wed, 27 March, 2013, I was delighted to host (and curate) a panel discussion for the Edinburgh International Science Festival, entitled "Why We Play".
The brief gave me a great opportunity to assemble a properly multidisciplinary panel, from the worlds of natural science, social science and play/games business consultancy. They were:-
- Professor Patrick Bateson from the University of Cambridge, one of the greatest ethologists of his era, and author of (in 2013) Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation (with Paul Martin). [Download Bateson presentation PDF]
- Wendy Russell, a senior lecturer in Play and Playwork at the University of Gloucestershire, who has been a practitioner and advocate for Playwork for over 30 years. Her report to Play England, "Play For A Change", is an authoritative review of the scholarship of play and its contemporary policy implications. She also founded the Philosophy at Play conferences.
- Alex Fleetwood was founder and director of Hide And Seek, a London-based commercial consultancy on play and games which will close in early 2014. He helped design the "New Year Games" for Edinburgh's Meadows on 1st Jan, 2012.
The event was opened by the Minister for Children and Young People in the Scottish Government, Aileen Campbell, as part of the run-up to the launch of their Play Strategy for Scotland (vision statement and action plan). The Scotsman ran a preview feature, where I was quoted on the event.