3-2 | Caillois's Man, Play, and Games


Caillois's Man, Play, and Games
An Appreciation and Evaluation

Thomas S. Henricks


This article explores the contributions of Roger Caillois to the study of human play. The initial portion of the essay focuses on Caillois's scholarly career as a response to the public events and intellectual movements of his time. The author shows how Caillois's responses influenced the portraits of play that he developed in such important books as Man and the Sacred and Man, Play, and Games. The article then analyzes the themes Caillois developed in these writings and compares them to Johan Huizinga's interpretation of play in Homo Ludens. In a final section, the article shows the continued pertinence of Caillois's approach to contemporary scholarship and offers author's own evaluation of this theory.