American Journal of Play Publishes 10th Anniversary Issue

The Strong News Release
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 • 585-263-2700 •

May 17, 2018

For Immediate Release

Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365,

Noelle McElrath-Hart, 585-410-6325,

American Journal of Play
Publishes 10th Anniversary Issue
that Explores Play and the Human Experience

ROCHESTER, NY—The Strong’s American Journal of Play published its first issue in 2008 and has been at the leading edge of the study of play throughout the past decade. The Journal has published 145 articles, 32 interviews, and more than 300 book reviews in its 10-year run that have reached thousands of readers and researchers around the globe. In its recently published 10th anniversary issue, the Journal continues its ground-breaking work and explores play as a fundamental pathway of human experience.

In the lead article, Thomas Henricks, one of the world's foremost play scholars and distinguished professor at Elon University, dissects the forms of play—exploration, construction, interpretation, and dialogue—to characterize play as an essential strategy for living and self-realization. “Players seek to know what they can do in—and to—the world,” says Henricks. “The world includes not only external forms and forces but also their own psychological and physical capacities. In that latter sense, people play to change themselves.”

Henricks posits that all life activities feature self-positioning, and that play focuses on “building the personal frameworks useful for addressing forthcoming challenges, both anticipated and unanticipated.” This, he argues, makes play critical to a satisfying life.

Additional articles in Vol. 10, No. 2 of the American Journal of Play include:

“Examining Literacy Practices in the Game Magic: The Gathering,” by Autumn M. Dodge (with Paul A. Crutcher). The author discusses Magic: The Gathering as not only a card game but also as a literacy tool. Dodge explores the perspectives of a novice and long-time player to examine vocabulary, multimodal texts, comprehension, and embodied literary practices.

“Role Playing in Children’s Literature: Zilpha Keatley Snyder and The Egypt Game,” by Cathlena Martin. The author examines the roots of role playing games, arguing that their history goes back much further than JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and other more modern fantasy novels. Martin argues that many role-playing game concepts sprang from earlier children’s literature, particularly Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Egypt Game, which the author

describes as a forerunner to games like Dungeons & Dragons.

"Toward Creativity: Do Theatrical Experiences Improve Pretend Play and Cooperation Among Preschoolers?” by Meredith L. Rowe, Virginia C. Salo, and Kenneth Rubin. The authors examine preschool play sessions before and after theater productions to measure children’s engagement, cooperation, and misbehavior. They conclude that theatrical performances enhance the cooperation and pretenses among preschoolers, and that they play a key role in early creative and social-competence development.

The complete issue of the American Journal of Play can be accessed freely online at Printed editions are also available for subscription and single-copy purchase.

About the American Journal of Play
The American Journal of Play is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary publication that serves as a forum for discussing the history, science, and culture of play. Published three times each year by The Strong museum in Rochester, New York, the Journal includes articles, interviews, and book reviews written for a broad readership that includes educators, psychologists, play therapists, sociologists, anthropologists, folklorists, historians, museum professionals, toy and game designers, policy makers, and others who consider play for a variety of reasons and from various perspectives.