6-3 | Play, Playfulness, Creativity, and Innovation

Book Review

Play, Playfulness, Creativity, and Innovation

Patrick Bateson and Paul Martin
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Notes, references, index. 162 pp. $34.99 paper. ISBN: 9781107689343

by Gordon M. Burghardt

First Paragraph:

Patrick Bateson and Paul Martin’s Play, Playfulness, Creativity, and Innovation is a fine short book, especially for two groups of readers of this journal: those who want an introduction to some of the most recent work on play in animals and its relevance to understanding play in the human animal, and those interested in the relationship of play with creativity. Both topics are currently important in biology and psychology. In eleven short chapters, a great number of topics are addressed. Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in the play of nonhuman animals. Scholars and practitioners primarily focused on play in humans, especially children, should be aware of this rapidly accumulating body of knowledge. Those studying nonhuman animals are also becoming more aware of the important contributions from work on human play. Psychologists such as Anthony Pellegrini, Peter Smith, and others have facilitated these connections, particularly in relation to rough-and-tumble play and social play in general, although the literature on object, artistic, and physical play provides useful linkages as well. This book complements these efforts in that its focus moves largely toward play as a source of creativity. However, it does not shy away from broader issues, especially in the earlier chapters.