Si no hay galope, se nos para el corazón

(curious about the title of this post?) Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, “Carnaval toda la vida“)

2014 is almost done, and this is the obligatory “end of the year” post in Play Matters. To keep it within the comfortable traditions of the Internet, this is a list of the best things I’ve seen, read, or played in 2014:

My favorite film was Boyhood, but that should not come as a surprise. There’s been other excellent films, and TV, but nothing with the kindness and the humanity of Linklater’s film.

The best thing I’ve read this year, hands down, was Kate Tempest‘s Brand New Ancients:

“We are perfect because of our imperfections. We must stay hopeful; We must stay patient – because when they excavate the modern day they’ll find us: the Brand New Ancients.”

The game of the year was Brazil 1 – Germany 7. If 9/11 was the end of the XX Century politics, this game was the end of XX Century football.

I have also enjoyed playing Desert Golfing (which would be even more amazing if it had a hidden multiplayer, so say after 5000 holes you could see another ball, and that would be another player, Demon Soul’s style!), Galaxy Trucker, Spelunky and Hohokum. It’s been a terrible year for videogame culture, but a great year for playthings – like Sportsfriends, the perfect vehicles to hang out with people you love or hate, and show them how you feel about them.

It has also been the year of this book, Play Matters. Thanks to veryone who has read it. We’re now on the second printing, something I’ll celebrate with a giveaway as the new year starts. I am very happy with this book, but much happier with the conversations it has opened, and the people I’m meeting thanks to it.

But stay tuned! There’s more to come in 2015: I will open a new website to compile my silly experiments with things that are playful, and I will write here about these projects – including an exploration of dark play that went very wrong, and so also very right. There will be posts on incredible playful applications by Hubhub, about Superflex and art, and about digital art/aesthetics and play.

In the meanwhile, surrender to your inner wisdom, buy yourself some proper toys and find someone to play with; succumb to all the excesses you can, of food, of drinking, of family, of love; and welcome the year stuffed with life.

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