Revolutionary Games and repressive tolerance: on the hopes and limits of ludic citizenship

Benjamin Shepard

Abstract


This essay considers examples of boisterous game play, including ludic movement activity and humour in the context of the Occupy Wall Street movement in the USA. This form of auto-ethnography makes use of the researcher’s feelings, inviting readers into the personal, emotional subjectivities of the author. In this case, the author explores games, play, and humour highlighting a few of the possibilities and limits of play as a mechanism of social change, looking at the spaces in which it controls and when it liberates. While play has often been relegated to the sports field and the behaviour of children, there are other ways of opening spaces for play for civic purposes and political mobilization. The paper suggests play as a resource for social movements; it adds life and joyousness to the process of social change. Without playful humour, the possibilities for social change are limited.


Keywords


play, Occupy Wall Street, Marx, Burning Man, pie fights

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7592/EJHR2015.3.2.3.shepard

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