1-1 | Play in America from Pilgrims and Patriots to Kid Jocks and Joystick Jockeys

Article

Play in America from Pilgrims and Patriots to Kid Jocks and Joystick Jockeys
Or How Play Mirrors Social Change

Gary Cross

Abstract:

Drawing on a range of sources in the history of play, this article discusses how play for all ages mirrors social change, especially but not exclusively in America. The article explores three broad themes from colonial times to the present: first, how play was shaped by changes in work and time at work; second, how play activities were transformed by emerging technologies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and by commercialization; and third and finally, how play and its meanings changed along with childhood and the family.