Yesterday, I talked about Aha! Moments in business through the use of Intelligent Memory. Kristen commented on trying to help kids be creative in their learning and recall.
The link above is from Fast Company, one of my favorite magazines, on the "Four Secrets of Playtime That Foster Creative Kids" which talks more about the integration of play and work and why, to treat the two separately, may not be the best route.
As my old fraternity motto taught me - "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
But, within the article, it castigates the idea of kids being consumers and they should rather be creators. I agree with it in the concept that having a child needing to be in organized sports rather than pulling together a pickup game of baseball or football in the summer - is consumer versus creator. However, a big reason for that is the whole concept of "structure."
I'm not sure about structure. Sure, defining boundaries, roles, timelines, etc. are all good and necessary - I'm not a believer in anarchy. However, I'm also a believer that, once a set of boundaries are put in place, let the chaos commence.
Think of it as a pinball game. Sure, there are boundaries, a goal, a score, winners and losers. But, there are an unending opportunity for different plays, different results and experiences and it's all based upon the way the ball bounces (or rolls).
Yes - you can influence it to a degree, but nothing is for certain. And, if you attempt to exert too much influence by you, the player, what happens??
And then you lose your turn. So, what's best to foster and create creativity within your kids, your workplace and your life.
However, unlike the Fast Company article, I don't believe that consumer and creator are separate and nor should they be. We MUST be consumers of information in order to improve our "Intelligent Memory" which then helps create more Aha! Moments and new ideas and innovation. However, the difference to be discussed is between being an Active or Passive Consumer!
And for that discussion, I think about video games.
We had, growing up, the old Stalwart
What a great first experience as a kid! I was able to sit in the luxury of my family's basement on the 70's style yellow striped couch and play Space Invaders to my heart's content. For many, this meant bypassing playing outside, watching TV, doing homework, etc. For me, it was just another vehicle to consume information.
Over the years, I think video games and technology get a bad wrap. Used in the proper boundaries, they can allow for creativity and innovation! What this means is rules - when to play, how much to play, prioritization of homework and chores over games, etc. So, an ACTIVE CONSUMER means they consume within order.
PASSIVE CONSUMERS consume either without boundaries or order, or within order and boundaries which are constructed with paper and ideas and not ever held.
Kids, and companies, and individuals, should be ACTIVE consumers! Take part, understand the role, and then have a blast! I think some of the more modern video games foster that idea. Look at the Wii, Playstation Move and the newest, Xbox Kinect!
The Kinect plays without a controller. YOU are the controller and play an active part in the game! That is being an ACTIVE CONSUMER! Why? Because you have the boundaries, the goals, winners and losers but also have the ability, within "the box" to determine how you play, and how hard you want to go. Very similar to the old pinball game.
So the article touches on some of this, but I don't agree with the phrase "We aren't born with playful minds, we create them." Bullpucky. We're born with brilliant minds capable of creating, with God's help, things like blogs, Xbox Kinects and Sour Patch Kids (yummy)!
What we do with that mind, and what our parents chose to do, and now we, as parents and child raisers choose to do, help determine what we do with those minds. Choose to create ACTIVE CONSUMERS!