The more we look, the more we realise that play is intrinsically linked to intelligence, creativity, learning, social connectedness, and mental health.
But somehow, play is considered a trivial activity. And the extraordinary variety of artforms that have sprung up around play – games, toys, and playspaces, which have existed since before the written word, but are still right on the cutting edge of technology, not to mention creative and publishing models – are the artistic medium which is least supported by our educational and cultural institutions.
Bluntly, that’s just ridiculous. So we’re setting out to give play, games, toys, and the rest a place at the table alongside other forms of culture.
Who we are
The Australian Play Alliance is a loose, non-binding alliance of people, companies, non-profits and institutions who value play and games, and want to see their importance better recognised in Australian cultural life.
- private citizens who love games, toys, playful spaces, and/or other things that inspire and enable play,
- informal community organisers who routinely bring happy crowds together for the sake of shared fun,
- artists, designers and other creators creating playful works,
- professional players seeking to advance recognition of their forms of competition,
- teachers and other educators who recognise the vital links between learning and play,
- companies making or selling games, toys, play equipment or play-based activities and events,
- philanthropists interested in supporting play and playful creations, whether for their own sake or to leverage their many benefits to the public good,
- parents, guardians and other responsible elders who recognise the importance of play in developing imagination, curiosity, and emotional, psychological, social and systems literacies,
- non-profits supporting culture in all its forms,
- economists, psychologists, and other experts in decisionmaking and behaviour who wish to open up the possibilities for study and popular learning in games, toys, and play – the artforms that exist entirely in their audience’s decisions and actions,
- policymakers who see the big picture of the opportunities presented by toys, games and play,
- librarians and other cultural custodians who see the value in intelligently curating and fostering critical discussion around play and associated media such as toys games,
- community development practitioners and corporate culture consultants interested in using the power of play to build community connectedness across a wide range of demographic barriers and to enable exploration of complex issues,
- media professionals exploring the possibilities of these vibrant new (and in some cases ancient) media,
- cultural institutions who want to be able to fully explore (and support the public in exploring) these new and ancient artforms,
- and more.
What the Alliance does
The Alliance does not speak for its “members” – strictly (legally) speaking it doesn’t have any. Signing up just means we keep you in the loop about games-relevant news and opportunities, especially our own work to promote awareness of games and play, and towards establishing an Australian Play, Imagination & Learning Institute (the hosts of the Alliance). There may be opportunities to endorse specific statements, or chip in support for particular concrete actions, but registering for the Australian Play Alliance means only that we know you’re interested in games, toys, play equipment, playful spaces, and/or play.
How you can join us
You can register here. If you’re at all interested in play or playful media, please do – and please encourage other likeminded folks you know to do the same!
Thanks for your interest!