I am beginning to recognize Playstates not only being a sorting system for play, it has also become a lens by which to discern different cultural activities. After seeing the Playstates in Books I now see that Playstates can even be applied to the world of Visual Art.
Marshall McLuhan said that the medium (the singular of media) is the message. His insight was revolutionary at the time, and I believe I found a new demonstration of this insight. It occurred when I apply the Playstates model as a lens to evaluate how we interact with media, and in this post’s focus, showing how the five different Playstates are found in the medium of visual art.
Below I have listed examples of all five and this has forced me to rethink my stated position that books are inherently passive. It is quite possible that there is a continuum of activeness to passivity found in all media. I will need to take some time to explore that further!
Let’s explore examples of Playstates in the Visual Arts:
Toygrounds or the Play of Exploration – Museums with their artifacts to admire and Galleries with their pieces to purchase.
Role-Plays or the Play of Behavior – Tableau Vivant is where one or more actors are stationary and silent, usually in costume, carefully posed, with props and/or scenery, and may be theatrically lit. It thus combines aspects of theater and the visual arts.
Puzzles or the Play of Patterns – The finding of patterns occurs when enthusiasts recognizing an artist’s work before being informed that it is the artist’s work.
Games or the Play of Measurement – Collecting pieces according to specific criteria such as a particular theme, era, or artist.
Sports or the Play of Competition – Competing against other enthusiasts through Art Auctions.