Play is a need for all human beings
The 28th World Play Conference is organized by International Council for Children‘s Play in cooperation with the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Faculty of Education and the Spanish Education and Development Foundation (Fundación Educación y Desarrollo).
Play is a need for all human beings. The UN has recognized play as a child’s right and ratified by more than a hundred countries. However, every day it is more evident that many human beings have enormous difficulties to be able to exercise this right.
Do children have enough time to play?
To answer this question we need both to increase our Research on play and to disseminate it more. In addition we need to analyse our social policies in relation to play. And finally we need to improve our play practices.
Factors like the concentration of population in large cities, urban speculation and the progressive disappearance of public spaces, the difficulty of childhood to be able to move autonomously and secure, they all contribute to a progressive disappearance of traditional games and the places in which they could be play.
Some domains seems to be especially important in connection with that right to play, we can point to both art and education. In several languages, art and play have the same linguistic expression. Several great artists have reassured the link between playfulness and artistic expression. The process of education needs also to be adapted to a rapidly changing society. The Conference invites researchers, policy makers, artists and educators to address these complex relationships.
New forms of play have also appeared in our post-industrial societies. Videogames respond to the characteristics of our technological societies such as social games and sports responded to the needs of industrial societies.
The Autonomous University and the Education and Development Foundation have been collaborating for years in promoting research on play in these three specific areas:
• Traditional games in different cultures.
• Children’s ludic preferences based on gender age and play spaces.
• Creation of play spaces and playgroups networks, where boys and girls can exercise their right to play and develop their motor, imaginative, cognitive and social abilities.
Play continues to be a powerful tool to generate social tissue from childhood. We hope the 28th World Play Conference will contribute to a better dissemination of the research and social programs about play and will promote new collaborations between researchers, educators and artists from many different countries.