The American Journal of Play® is a forum on the history, science, and culture of play. The Journal aims to increase awareness of the role of play in human development, learning, and history.

Published three times a year, the American Journal of Play features original peer-reviewed research, interviews, and book reviews that advance scholarly and public discussions around play. It is written in a straightforward style for a wide readership of scholars, educators, policy makers, museum and industry professionals, public health workers, and others who strive to understand the impact and importance of play in the world.


The study of play invites many disciplinary perspectives and methodological approaches, both theoretical and empirical. The first peer-reviewed journal devoted to this study, the American Journal of Play publishes thought-provoking and timely material from researchers in both the social sciences and the humanities. The content reflects the wide breadth of play studies and includes contributions from experts in education and child development, cultural studies, and psychology, as well as sociology, media and game studies, anthropology, and history.

The American Journal of Play welcomes contributions in research areas such as:

  • play in learning and development from infancy to adulthood
  • cultural histories of playthings and ways of playing
  • practices of play therapy and health (physical, behavioral, mental)
  • intersections of play and gender, race, class, and sexuality
  • public policy issues involving and impacting play
  • historical and contemporary representations of play or players
  • evaluations of major themes and theories in traditional and emerging play scholarship

A Publication of The Strong

The American Journal of Play is published by The Strong, a highly interactive, collections-based educational institution devoted to the study and exploration of play. The Strong houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play and is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, and Woodbury School.