When Play Was Play
Why Pick-up Games Matter
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A celebration of childhood pick-up games.
When Play Was Play offers a fascinating look at the disappearing world of childhood pick-up games. Drawing on his own experiences as well as a wealth of interviews and surveys, Ronald Bishop tells why these loosely structured games mattered—camaraderie, opportunities to develop social skills, and independence from the world of adults. Bishop contrasts his and others' childhoods with the experiences of today's overscheduled and overcommitted youth who find much of their time taken up by organized sports and other highly supervised activities. When Play Was Play celebrates memories of a past era, when kids were free to explore their neighborhoods, had time to throw together an afternoon game of stickball, and spent much of their lives playing outside just for the sake of playing.
Ronald Bishop is Associate Professor in the Department of Culture and Communication at Drexel University and is the author of Taking on the Pledge of Allegiance: The News Media and Michael Newdow's Constitutional Challenge.
"…engaging and thought provoking; it situates play where it ought to be: in the realm of joy and freedom." — Journal of Social History
"An interesting mix of nostalgic reminiscence about and scholarly analysis of child's play." — CHOICE