Talk with Steve Johnson

In class we watched a live stream of a talk with Steve Johnson, on his book WONDERLAND “How play made the Modern world”. Where he talked about the idea of play and innovation, how it changed throughout the years. As he states “Play starts with the feeling of Delight”. Innovation is now connected with gadgets, but some of the best ideas come from the idea of just a simple place, like the coffee shop for instance.

Johnson explains how popular entertainment have played a very important role in shaping/creating our society. From the industrial revolution, to the modern day computer, smart phone etc. Johnson is a very smart man and knows how to explain the idea he is trying to portray. For about an half an hour maybe more Johnson talks about his book and the theories behind it, After the audience gets involved by asking him questions.

Johnson connects how he feels history/ innovation and inventions from times past, brought to our culture today is amusement, delight and play. He feels that major advancements in technology and culture have a resulted in our craving of distraction and delight, opposed to needing technological advancements to survive. He feels that play is a “curiosity reward” and when you “play” there can be various of different outcomes each time you engage.

Also that there is various different ways to “play” for example in between work and going home, stopping at a local pub to get a beer and catch up with old friends or converse and meet new people. Or simply game-ing systems like Play station, xbox etc. Whatever brings you delight and pleasure is how you play.

Listening to Johnson speak he had valid points that were interesting to listen to… but I got side tracked by counting how many times he said “uhm”..he is not the best public speaker. Granted I am not shaming him for this but it was interesting to me that such a intelligent man, still had a hard time public speaking.

All in all I agree with Johnson and feel play/delight and distraction is an important part of your every day lifestyle no matter how old you are.

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