New Article at Kafa Ayarı

My latest turkish article is up at Kafa Ayari.

The article is a brief discussion on the meaning of Johan Huizinga’s famous sentence “play is older than culture”. My argument is that this sentence is prone to misunderstanding if one looks at it from a game-centric perspective. This would miss the whole point of Homo Ludens: it is in first stance a book about culture, not games.

The sentence is not about reminding us of a chronological order and thereby putting games on top of a hierarchy. It is a way to help ask ourselves where the hell culture came from and what it did to us since it appeared. In that sense, the play-culture dichotomy in Huizinga is a way to defamiliarize from our way of seeing culture and to approach it with a fresh perspective: as something that could have never happened.  When seen from this angle, the famous sentence will be understood as the motto of Huizinga’s episteme in his attempt to understand culture, and not as a sentence that is in favor of games (or as some ludologist might like to think, ludology).

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