topic – play with rules

For many years we have learned good German spelling at school, the rules of our written language. Making mistakes and acting against the rules has something rebellious, almost revolutionary. However, only if this act is done consciously. Then it can also be a “playing with rules”, an exploration or crossing of boundaries.
We live in a time in which rules that have been in force so far are often questioned or even broken, that adequate rules have to be devised and tried out for new situations. This applies to the digital world as well as to the immigration society, to dealing with nature as well as to the question whether German orthography should be learned by ear or again on the basis of the primer. According to which rules do we want to play? That is the question of a consensus on which all players have to communicate for the time of the game.
After all, a game is a system of rules that make the game possible, just as our world is characterized by regularities. Laws, rules and orders are the foundations of our life: biological, physical, social and legal.
A game is unthinkable without rules. Seen in this way, play and everyday life are reflected. Games are part of our social practice, as well as so-called serious action. We can make parts of our daily trading a game, and we can make our game serious. The transitions are flowing. Both manifestations, the serious action and the playful action have one thing in common: the regularity.
The emergence of laws and regulations in democracies is based on the majority of the population. Even the free spaces in every life would not exist without rules. There would be no human rights and thus, for example, no freedom of choice, freedom of association or freedom of expression. More and more, in some countries of the world politics is playing in a dangerous way with these rules of living together, thereby putting democracy at risk in those countries. In free democracies, those in power are questioning their decisions or rules. Where discussion and discussion cultures, including the division of power, work, the meaning and nonsense of rules may be asked and changes made.
“The rule kindness out of it one considers that she sometimes tolerates ‘an exception’. Once a year I find it wise to try the rules for yourself, whether in the habit of sluggish tracks you’ll lose your power and life! “(Hans Sachs in:” The Mastersingers of Nuremberg “). Hans Sachs not only encourages us in Wagner’s opera, but above all as a poet of the Reformation period, that it can be good to question rules, to play with rules. As the master of inversion, he himself has made a significant contribution to changing existing orders with his humorously playful lyrics and plays.

So games are “contradictory” insofar as they presuppose compliance with certain rules, but at the same time they encourage them to play through new possibilities and opportunities, constellations and options. Within the framework of predetermined rules, new constellations of the game rules can be tested. Rules normalize games, but can also open up new scope. Against this background, the playful handling of rules is creative, because in the execution of a game new meaning and new orders can emerge and become visible: “Let’s play through it” is a popular success format on the way to solutions. This approach is u.a. also included in the educational material for kindergartens: “When playing in a group, children learn to abide by rules. You can also set your own rules, as long as they do not play exclusively after them “(” school starter “, Kosmos Verlag).
Education is a great way to convey norms, values ​​and rules to shape people’s lives together, to live together and to preserve our world. An educational approach giving the game a playful dimension: The game, in its most varied manifestations, shows, as it were, “best practice”, how we can shape our existence in a lasting and constructive way. Playful comprehension of this world means recognizing their orders and rules of the game and running them through again and again. A special dimension of the game is thus to present and experience regularity and order as a constitutive element of our lives. “Every game is a praise of order” (Wolfhardt Pannenberg, theologian).
The advantage of playfulness as a model for our actions is that games are usually simpler, more manageable, more limited but also more flexible than our everyday actions. It is precisely this lesser complexity that predestines the game for learning social (and thus also legal) rules. As in a successful game, a successful everyday life requires dependable teammates, personal responsibility and contractual loyalty (collusion). In doing so, playfulness has the effect of relieving us of the (game) rules, in which they relieve us of decisions and give us a reliable framework, which we must respect with all (playful) seriousness. These are the conditions for joy of playing. So understood, the regularity of the game and the playful handling of rules are an in-game for living together in a world community. Aviation pioneer Anne Morrow Lindbergh has a playful notion of successful coexistence: “A good relationship is like a dance and builds on the same rules”.
At the 28th Education Forum International Market 2019, workshops, lectures, game islands and other hands-on activities will focus on identifying the characteristic importance of rules for a wide variety of game formats, identifying types of games through the rules and the interaction between rules and a life to show by rules. At the same time, there will also be opportunities to deal with the problem of fixed rules on the one hand and the question of changeability or the adaptability of rules on the other. How does the character of “Mensch ärgere dich nicht” (“Do not you get annoyed”) change if two parties cooperate or you can move backwards and do the rules of decency of Baron Knigge still make sense today? What happens if we only play cooperative games and avoid competitive games? How do we deal with spoilsports, are they troublemakers or provoke something new? Is grandma a crook if she lets the grandson win? Do computer games based on the principles of violence and war affect the understanding of children and adolescents in everyday life? Is there a particularly high acceptance of rules in families where there is a lot of interaction? Where do children learn to deal with rules today when they can barely play on the street? Such and similar questions will be discussed at the 28th International Forum for Education Potsdam on May 3 and 4, 2019, in order to discover play as a stimulating, stabilizing, but also as a game with potential for change in our daily lives.

Spielmarkt Team, Nov. 2018