What makes people human? For millennia, the answer to this question has been that we can put ourselves in real and dreamed-of worlds.
Homo ludens loves the game!
There has been a lot to read about gaming in the past few months. While playgrounds are closed and the options for action are limited, computer and board games are celebrating record sales. The restrictions sparked discussions on educational factors, the promotion of play-based learning, and on the (apparantly much needed) answer to the question of how children can be entertained. Playing in a small group, but also on its own, has experienced a small revolution. Even the Greek philosopher Aristotle recognized the great value of playing as a counterpart to work and an escape from everyday life; As a necessary opposite pole, so that people remain in balance. Everyone is apparently familiar with the game, as it is necessarily and luckily a part of life.
In the project-based seminar “SPIELEND! Zur Geschichte von Kinderspielen in Thüringen" (Playing! On the history of children's games in Thuringia) we question the game as an object of research and rediscover it - also from a historical point of view. Surveys from the 1930s with questions about the issues of custom, childhood, family and upbringing, answered in the area of today's Thuringia and partly also in neighboring areas are the main source. What and how did children play in the first half of the last century? Are these games any different from ours today? How is "game" and "playing" defined?
The answers are mostly handwritten by teachers and pastors of the parishes and provide information on these topics - while raising new questions at the same time. Mindsets and perspectives, educational attitudes and pedagogical ideals of the time shaped by National Socialism can be clearly seen in the questionnaires.
A total of 14 archive boxes with 30 to 50 questionnaires each were viewed, relevant material was digitized and transcribed in order to evaluate the content and make it accessible for the exhibition planned for the beginning of August. The information is currently being processed and put into context and we are developing various exhibition elements to convey the topic in an exciting, clear and appropriate manner.
Take a look!
The associated blog SPIELENDExternal link! offers the opportunity to gain insights into the individual work steps and to accompany us on the way to the finished exhibition. Exciting insights are regularly shared - It´s worth taking a look!