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May 2017


All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;

This quote from William Shakespeare seems a timely way to start #playread. Watching plays, or films of plays is a perfect fit for #playread. Some theatre companies as well as offering live performances, provide streaming of performances. The (UK) National Theatre and Branagh Theatre provide performances this way.  This may be the month to explore what your local theatre company is offering (or what you can watch online). You can read plays, but they really are meant to be watched, or at least listened to.

Black Children Play Outside The Ida B. Wells Homes, One Of Chicago's Oldest Housing Projects. There Are 1,652 Apartments Housing 5,920 Persons In 124 Buildings On The South Side, 05/1973

Children playing, photograph courtesy US National Archives

This month there is a key date, May the Fourth, Star Wars Day (say the date out loud and it will all become clear).  You may want to cosplay (another kind of #playread) your favourite Star Wars character on this day (or every day). Cosplay could be another way to participate in #playread as you role play your fandom. You can even combine Star Wars and Shakespeare by reading the work of Ian Doescher.

Reading, watching and playing can be playful, and #playread explores these and many other interpretations for #playread, looking at whimsy, playfulness and word plays as part of reading, watching and playing.  For some titles such as the Lord of the ring and the Walking dead you can read, watch and play as they are books, films/on television as well as games.

#playread may be grim, when options such as the Hunger games are about games to the death, or if you are watching, rather than reading this stories, the films can be played (another way of looking at #playread).    #playread may be a time to explore writers such as Ernest Cline, whose two recent novels feature games as part of the stories. They also feature game related skills which is a reminder that read watch play is about reading, watching and playing.

Playing dvds (or streaming) is another way to try #playread.  IMBd can give you lots of ideas to explore.

For #playread you can play boardgames and obtain inspiration from places such as BoardGameGeek and Tabletop.  If live action role playing is more your thing, explore Nordic LARP. For another view of #playread that of exploring the past, you could consider historical reenactment or play the past (exploring the connection of games and cultural heritage).

There are lot of other games to consider including video games. You can explore the Museum of Play, and the history of electronic games. You can play some of these games online via the Internet Archive. Perhaps app based games are your thing – what are your favourites?

Reading about sport and fitness are #playread too, and lead to other activity.  #playread may be what you listen to while you are getting fitter.  You might like reading about sports people to find out their stories or be reading about fitness (or watching videos) as a step to improving your own health and fitness.  Make sure you take an evidence based approach and not one of fake science.  This might be the month the explore playgrounds as part of the #playread experience.  These ones in Denmark are very beautiful.

You may play music or enjoy listening or watching music being played.  Music brings a huge area to #playread as you may read the history of music and musicians, as well as explore historic and contemporary music.  This may be the month to explore music from different cultures. Music is far too wide a field to link to or describe here, but share your favourites with #playread online.

There are other creative options such as Playing for time (exploring community based art).  You may even find gardening, or reading about gardening a #playread as it lets you explore creativity. Cookery could also be a #playread option as you may be playful with a recipe. There are many creative options for #playread.  For you it could be carpentry, bee keeping or 3D printing.  Share your favourites through using #rwpchat #playread.

It may be the month for whimsical, playful reading.  Steampunk could be a good fit for this (including The watchmaker of Filigree Street and The aeronaut’s windlass) as well as another good reason to explore cosplay. Reading about a character like Lord Peter Wimsey or those created by Elizabeth Edmonson or James Runcie could be a #playread.

Fantasy also has much #playread potential including the Gentleman bastard series by Scott Lynch and there are many more.

There will be a twitter discussion on 30 May  starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time.  6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am BST.  Note this is a staggered discussion.

Use the tags  #playread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of  #playread, so others can join in the conversation too

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