Well, we didn’t expect that

To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.*
(James Carse)

And when playing a game, the question is not how to overcome that structure, but how to subject oneself to it […] the play is in the thing, not in us […].**
(Ian Bogost)

If play is a way of entering into the reality of things rather than avoiding them, perhaps we are most alive when we are surprised.

If we try to bring the game into ourselves, we are seeking to overpower the unknown with the known, we are mitigating surprise.

If Ian Bogost is correct in saying play is in the thing and not in us, we must step out of our familiar world into the unfamiliar and unknown.

One way we can approach this play is through reverence: to see something for what it is, someone for who they are, requiring us to step out of world and into theirs:

In order to become attentive to Beauty, we need to discover the art of reverence. […] Ultimately, reverence is respect before mystery. […] Playfulness, humoured even a sense of the anarchic are companions of reverence because they insist on the proper proportion of the human presence in the light of the eternal. Reverence is also the companion of humility. […] The earth is full of thresholds where beauty awaits the wonder of our gaze.^

*From James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games;
**From Ian Bogost’s Play Anything;
^John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty.

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