Humans at play in the Anthropocene Group Created with Sketch.

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The arrival of the Anthropocene recognises the significant global impact of human activity on the Earth’s ecosystems. Building on Huizinga’s understanding of the relationship between play and culture, this essay explores the role that play could have in survival strategies or to provide awareness of the impact of human processes in the Anthropocene. In this worldview, play has a primary function in culture through its role in modelling modes of human survival: simulation is good tool for understanding the impact of systems on the world; play enables the possibility to become adaptive and ‘hack’ the world as conditions change; and lastly, play suggests that a changed philosophical perspective may offer an evolutionary edge for survival in a changing world. Drawing on Lévy, Bogost, Harman and Parikka strategies for play are explored using micronations and pervasive games; demonstrated and illustrated by analysis of games from recent experience within the Micronation of Ludea.

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