Therefore, we need to create programs that foster the opportunity and mindset for creative exploration and discovery to help kids prepare for the world they will inherit. (For more on player retention through Creative Play and Transformative Play I think it’s possible that human imagination shines brightest in childhood. When I create games, I’ve always tried to think of ways for kids who play to think on their own and be as imaginative as possible.— game designer and producer at Nintendo. Whether by playing with dolls or action figures or by dressing up as a favorite superhero, animal, or animated TV personality, role-playing happens spontaneously as children use their imaginations to explore social interactions or to “try-on” archetypes and roles to see how they feel. Pretend Play is an important and natural expression of kids trying to make sense of the world around them. From pouring out pretend tea for stuffed animals to battling make-believe bad-guys in the bedroom, Imaginative Play Allows kids to explore things from different emotional viewpoints. This ability to see from different perspectives helps children to develop empathy and connection with others, as well as to give themselves coping skills. Make-Believe Play, also called Imaginative Play or Pretend Play, allows for the creation of “What if?” situations like being a pirate, a superhero who can fly, a beauty queen, a fairy princess, or a mash-up of beautiful-pirate-fairy-princess-who-flies. Anything imaginable in the mind of a child (or adult) is fair game for make-believe adventures. Children love playing on playground equipment - didn't you when you were younger?
Imagination is something humans excel at; we can imagine things and times beyond the here and now.Children have a huge appetite for exploration excursions and adventures into the fantasy world of make-believe, with themselves playing leading roles. They easily jump back and forth between reality and fantasy play, existing in both worlds at once. Make-Believe Play is always accompanied by some form of running narrative and story, usually broadcast live in monologue as it occurs. These stories help children make sense of their lives and sort through their feelings and experiences.It’s not just children who do this: everyone everyday uses a pretend-real combination to replay old stories, re-examine current situations with different outcomes, and envision possible future events. It is a daily component of our human stream of consciousness.Make-Believe Play is often therapeutic on its own, but there is a specific form of Therapeutic Play used by child therapists to get kids to communicate about what is happening in their lives. Children who are reticent to talk will often, while talking through puppets, dolls, and figurines, express themselves in ways they might never do when asked directly.Game and toy designer Cynthia Woll, who has worked for Mattel Media (as well as Disney, Electronic Arts, and others), related a story about testing a new idea for a Barbie that could “talk” with the girls. It turned out that the girls had no interest in what Barbie had to say; they just wanted to use Barbie as a “talking stick” for themselves. They used Barbie to express their feelings and tell stories about their lives. A local park can be dramatically improved by adding outdoor fitness equipment from a reputable supplier.
The girls acted out their hopes, dreams, and aspirations through the medium of the doll. Cynthia saw that it was all about the story. Girls acting out stories is the predominant play pattern for the Barbie line of toys.Whether we realize it or not, when we are designing games for kids, we often imagine them playing with the games, and, as I am imagining you reading it and what you might like to know. We use this imaginative and creative mechanism easily and seamlessly in our thought processes each day. Often, it is virtually invisible except when we imagine things that scare, excite, or tickle us, and get our bodies to react as if the imagined scenario was real. Our imaginations are very powerful—imagine good things. It is the self-directed aspect of play that gives it its educative power. Part of Creative Play is Transformative Play, play that involves customizing, personalizing, reorganizing, and constructing—basically changing the state of something to make it one’s own. For kids this sometimes means just signing their name, but, more often, it includes decorating, enhancing, and otherwise modifying something (like a game avatar or a toy) to make it uniquely theirs.The important thing for designers to remember is that Transformative Play, like Creative Play, creates ownership. Ownership, in turn, fosters player retention and continued participation. Everyone likes feeling creative, and everyone is creative in their own way. Part of the role of a designer is to help children be prepared for a world that thrives on innovation and change, where creativity is currency. Any outdoor area would be made more child friendly with monkey bars such as these.