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  1. #1
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Default Play versus Work

    What is the difference?

    From wiki I learned that Mark Twain believed that play and work are words used to describe the same activity under different circumstances. That makes a lot of sense to me. Usually it seems to be a frame of mind. It seems that certain cognitive processes are expressed, but which ones?

    Personally, I think play is a state of mind for the purpose of enjoying the world, whereas work is a state of mind where we exert ourselves out of necessity. So that would make play about satisfaction and work about necessity.

    I think that means work is pointless without play. If someone can't get gratification for fulfilling their needs, then what is the point? So would that mean life is about finding contentment in everything you do?

    It just seems sad to me, to think of working all the time just to survive, and never feeling fulfilled beyond taking care of those most basic needs. That kind of existence just seems so horrific to me and yet I know many people do just that.

    So how do you folks play? Do you work or play more? Is there a real difference between work and play or is it just a state of mind?
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  2. #2
    Large Member Ender's Avatar
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    When my hobbies start getting requests by others for me to do it for them because I seem to "enjoy" it, then it starts seeming like work.

    Otherwise I consider it more like playing.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    What is the difference?

    So how do you folks play? Do you work or play more? Is there a real difference between work and play or is it just a state of mind?
    For me play is fun and work is not fun.
    Play is when I get to do whatever I please and have fun.
    Work is when I have to do something and when I am usually bored.

    It might be just the state of mind or the fact that I haven't find a perfect work for me yet (if there is a such thing).

  4. #4
    More human than human MetalWounds's Avatar
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    I would have to say that it is dependant upon the perception of the one who is engaged in the activity. Most people take "work" as doing something that you are forced to do, so in that sense, if you were forced to "play" would it not become work? Where would the boundry lie? When is the exact instant that play becomes work, or that work becomes play? Some would say that work is what you get paid do to...but if you get paid to play, that would be work. I think that while most don't find fulfillment on the smaller level of work, they find it in the greater scale of thinking that they are contributing to society, and somehow working for a greater good.
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  5. #5
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Speaking from experience, some jobs are work no matter what your approach is and are harmful to your physical and mental health due to the level of stress they cause.

  6. #6
    Procrastinating
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    So how do you folks play? Do you work or play more? Is there a real difference between work and play or is it just a state of mind?

    Hard one for me to answer actually. When I was working out of my chosen field, it was a real survival drag but now, working in it, work is play. I guess its about "interest." I've had classes in school that were work because I lacked that but much tougher ones that felt like play for the same reason. I sure wouldn't call doing my bills or taxes play, for instance, and I procrastinate because of it.... usually choosing to get engrossed in an rpg game... yeh, sometimes I play to avoid work.

  7. #7
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    It just seems sad to me, to think of working all the time just to survive, and never feeling fulfilled beyond taking care of those most basic needs. That kind of existence just seems so horrific to me and yet I know many people do just that.
    Well if the things that you enjoy doing don't pay any money, then you are basically left working primarily for survival. I have found in the jobs that I've tried so far that there are aspects I enjoy, but also plenty of aspects that I do not. Ultimately I don't think I'll enjoy any kind of work until I am working for myself, so that is the goal that I'm currently working toward. Until then I work primarily to survive.
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  8. #8
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Well, the difference is how much is at stake in the activity.

    Work has stronger negative consequences if you do poorly, and stronger positive ones if you perform well. In play, there's nothing really at stake, so you feel free to enjoy yourself.

    When you are focused on work, you do indeed perform better, more consistently, and more efficiently... at the cost of enjoyment, however. So the "work" mindset has it's uses.

    Does that make sense?

  9. #9

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    My main issues are time pressure and tedium.

    In a way, if you put a deadline on almost anything I am doing, you turn it into work. There is an awful lot of stress, and I don't think clearly, and don't take my usual meandering/exploratory way of doing things. It sucks, generally.

    Also, anything I have to do over and over again is a chore. In my ideal world, we would only need to do something once, and every-time going forward, that thing we did once would get done automatically when needed.

    It's actually not very clear-cut...But that is a "first-order" description of the difference between play and work for me. Play is time-unconstrained and novel, while work is time-constrained and repetitive.

    There are some exceptions.... Sometimes in sports and competitions the time pressure adds to the challenge. I kind of like that feeling. But it needs to be a very rare event for me to enjoy it. It is positive stress only if short lived.

    Sometimes, I like repetition. When it is a means of honing and refining skills. If I can do it different/better each time, than it is also enjoyable. However, there needs to be some sort of "point" to my improving in skill. If there is essentially no point in improving my skill by repeating something over-and-over, then it is just tedium, and I will want it automated (though that is usually not possible).

    What gives improving skills a point? If I can then use it for something that will be uniquely mine. Perhaps this is a built-in drive to locate my own "cosmic duty" instead of living/doing someone else's...who knows?

    Anyway, there are some very predictable patterns I've noticed in myself in relation to work and play. The people who say things like, "it won't rain if you believe enough that it won't" can go jump of a cliff for all I care. This is poor, and ill-informed advice. Somethings are not just a matter of mind-set. As you can tell...it gets me riled-up (and there are few things that do).

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  10. #10
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Work is something you have to do, play is something you enjoy doing- sometimes the lines are confusing though

    I enjoy my job actually and always look forward to going into work! I love selling things to people and talking about wine. I have to work to get money to survive, but I would keep going in to work if I won the lottery, so I actually think I would consider it more play than work!

    Work is the things I dislike doing, like washing dishes, giving Mr Jones a bath and doing statistics homework I would not do those things if I didn't have to!
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