You’re invited to try a 12-minute meditation about childhood play, designed by MSU Media and Information professor Carrie Heeter. Revisit a piece of your childhood as you learn about play and about yourself.
The Childhood Play meditation was part of a workshop at the Meaningful Play conference in early October. People who came to Meaningful Play share a deep love of games and the magical idea of play. The workshop used meditation as a tool for attendees to connect with and explore unique nuances of their personal experience of play.
Heeter is a game designer, user experience designer, and a meditation expert. The meditations she teaches could be considered “yoga for the mind.” The meditations combine breath, gentle movements, and mental focus. Careful sequencing helps you relax the body and quiet the mind. This prepares you to connect with a meaningful play experience.
No prior meditation or yoga experience is needed.
You want to have room to be able to stand, to raise your arms up from the front and up from the side, and bend forward. You want enough space to be on the floor on your hands and knees. And you want to have a chair handy when it comes time to sit comfortably.
People who did the meditation at the workshop found it easy to do. If any instruction does not feel comfortable for you, don’t do it. Remember that you can stop at any time.
The meditations Heeter teaches are designed to be emergent. Her guidance help set a general direction, but every person has their own experience. Something shows up for you. It can be fascinating to observe what emerges – what you learn about yourself and about your experience of play.
Game designers and game design students think about and work with the idea of play all the time. They could benefit from doing the Childhood Play meditation to gain a different kind of understanding of play, one that is very personal.
Other grow-ups, even those who are not game designers, may enjoy “feeling like a kid at play” again for a little while.
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