“Play shows us our common humanity. It shows us how we can be free within the societal structures that allow us to live with others. It is the genesis of innovation, and allows us to deal with an ever-changing world.
Economically, developed nations in which people are not merely surviving will rise or fall depending on how well they understand and institute play. That’s because what has been called the knowledge economy is being overtaken by the creative economy. In the early days of the twentieth century, industries didn’t want workers who could think. They wanted people who could be relied on to repeat the same assembly-line motions efficiently. As other nations gained the ability to host those factories, the ‘industrialized’ countries realized that if they wanted to maintain their standards of living, they would have to work harder or work smarter. Since part of a high standard of living is not working twelve-hour days for six days a week, most people would like to work smarter. A knowledge economy is based on the advantages of its strong educational system, computing power, and analytical abilities.” (p.199)
“Nations that remain economically strong are those that can create intellectual property – and the ability to innovate largely comes out of an ability to play.” (p.200)
Ref: (emphases in blue bold mine) Stuart Brown (2009) Play: How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul. Avery: New York