Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

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Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by jupiternames on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:04 am

I found out about this really interesting thesis by Katriina Heljakka about playfulness/play in adults while watching one of Sioux's videos. It took me a long time to realize that I was never going to grow out of my toys, but rather grow with them. It took even longer to realize that I didn't have to internalize other people's negative views on adults who buy dolls/figurines/action figures.

Here is an article about her thesis for a bit of light summary
http://www.globaltoynews.com/2014/02/how-adults-play.html#more

As someone who never really grew out of my childhood toys, I decided to download the thesis and have a look at it. It's free if downloaded as a .pdf from the Aalto Arts book store. Theses in my field never get cute artsy covers either, so there's a plus!

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by MadWild on Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:04 am

Thank you for sharing this, it looks really interesting! I will have to see if I can download the pdf as I'd like to read it.

I also look at these things from a similar perspective to you - I have continued having toys as I've grown older, but I realised that it's okay. I used to be bothered whether people think it's weird and I still do a bit, but mostly I just join in the jokes and tell people that I will enjoy it if I want to! It probably helps that my fiancé has never found it weird, he's quite happy for me to collect all the toys that I do. My parents too, to an extent, although they find dolls harder to deal with than little figurines like Zelfs and Kinder Egg toys. But, my dad said just the other day that he finds it more childish and odd to play video games as an adult than to enjoy the "childhood nostalgia" of toys, as he put it.

Sorry, I've rambled on a bit now! I find this topic really interesting, I look forward to hearing what other people have to say about it Very Happy.

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:31 pm

growing old is eugh... maturity is something forced on us, not something with naturally want. So of course we want to continue to have that child-like view of the world. Life was easier when you were a kid, adult life is HARD. So adults totally need more playtime.

Having kids is a great excuse, I can wear a silly hat and swing on the swings and nobody even notices ahahaha

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by jupiternames on Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:33 pm

I've had friends that didn't like it, but my partner completely supports my hobbies. He even got me Poppy as a giftmas gift. I think you're right about it helping to have a partner who accepts you. That's when I really started to feel okay with my hobbies. My parents are similar to yours as well. My mom doesn't see my collections as a problem and my dad keeps his opinions to himself.

The thing I've never been able to figure out about people who don't like my collecting dolls and figurines (or playing computer games) is, what am I supposed to be doing instead? Going out and getting drunk? Demanding to have a baby now when there's no way I could support a child on my salary? Sitting in front of the television for hours on end watching reality TV? Is that what 'adults' do? When I look at other people's lives, I wonder how they aren't bored without dolls or games.

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:17 pm

I often ask husband "what do normal couples talk about?" when we're sitting there discussing the "lives" of our dolls/roleplay characters or debating some sci fi show. And you know... we can't work it out. what DO people who aren't into that sort of thing talk about? they're like aliens to me hahaha.

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by jupiternames on Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:59 pm

This really made me smile! It's the same at my home. We're either talking games (both of us) or dolls (me).

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by MadWild on Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:22 pm

You know, that's what my dad often says if I'm contemplating splashing out on buying something. He points out that I don't drink or smoke, or spend money on much else, so why not spend it on something I enjoy? I see it as being the same when it comes to spending leisure time - spend it how you enjoy it, not how people expect you to!

I have similar conversations with my other half - me rambling about dolls and toys, him telling me about new video games, or both of us talking about the cuddlies (our soft toys). And then at the moment, there's wedding stuff too, but most of the time I'd rather talk about toys :p.

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:58 pm

we had to buy new sofas recently, I sulked the WHOLE time about how boring and grown up it was. Then spotted the colouring table. I vaulted a sofa to get there and sat giggling and colouring with crayons. Husband just shook his head and sat beside me. Lol. He's used to me being ridiculously childish.

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by MissRead on Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:44 pm

While photographing Henry (my main travelling companion) in NZ I got told by a man 'isn't it about time you grew up'  I told him NO as then I would get OLD!   Laughing Razz

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by jupiternames on Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:46 pm

Oh, how I hate it when people ask questions like that! You never get asked that for doing sports, but both are play. Why is our play wrong? I say it's not!

Good answer! Stay young.  Razz

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:50 am

Kiwis are a bit.. conservative. I noticed this when I went back as a teenager during my "goth phase". The STARES i got. In London nobody batted an eyelid to eccentricity but in Auckland people were like.. edging away from me. 
in the UK I can go out dressed as a pirate and only get maybe 1 or 2 comments (usually from teenaged boys trying to seem "cool" by being a twit) but in NZ? omg. Na uh. you get labelled a nutter.

It's sad, but alas, our home country is a bit um... less accepting of oddness? Maybe it's a population thing, the uk has so many people, there's bound to be a few more loonies hahah.

That said, i'm yet to take any of my dolls out for a photo shoot. I have taken dolls to restaurants before (because I purchased them that day and they happened to be in my handbag because I hadn't gone home yet) and nobody asked why a Pippa doll was hanging out on the salt shaker or whatever lol.
I wanna do a Makie shoot but I never get a chance to go out on my own. alas.

Of course, I do know UK doll collectors who get the "judgemental glare/annoying questions" at the till when buying dolls. So it's not totally accepting here. I don't tend to have that problem but I think my manic grin when I go to the checkout makes them think twice about asking lol. If I do get asked "is this for you?" I tend to giggle and say "YESSSSS!" and they shut up hah. they're probably thinking "weirdo" but are too afraid or polite to say anything.

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by howll on Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:33 pm

I'd love to go out for a shoot, so many pretty places here in Wales, however I just don't have the balls to do it.  I'm not ashamed of collecting dolls, I just wouldn't want to be accosted for it.  My boyfriend tolerates my collection, he doesn't necessarily dislike them, he just gets pissed off with all the doll stuff he finds about the place (especially those clear elastics you always get xD I always end up missing them and he goes wild hahaha).

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by jupiternames on Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:15 am

I get that! Getting accosted by strangers about your dolls is never fun. I've only ventured into the backyard of my apartment complex, but I'm working on being bolder. For me the trade off is I feel very vulnerable going out with a doll to photograph because it's not something I want to share with strangers on the street. But I really love having pictures of my Makies out in nature.

Thankfully, my boyfriend loves my Makies. He even likes to help with their photo stories. He's completely ambivalent about my other dolls.

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by MissRead on Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:50 am

Since I have been taking Henry (a Gregor doll) out for a few years now, and blog about his adventures,  I no longer care what people think...I have only ever had two negative comments, one in Boot Hill Cemetery in Arizona, USA and the one in New Zealand.  Both commenters ended up speechless with my quirky responses.  Ha!  Fortunately my husband joins in the fun so no worries there.

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by howll on Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:56 am

That's cool, Missread!

I know this may be controversial to say but I find it harder going out with dolls being a male, because it's not only that you have dolls, it's that people will instantly pull the gay thing out and have you on that.  Urgh, hate shallow mindedness!

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by Vaergo on Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:07 am

Don't worry about other people, How'll. I'm male too and I take a Makie with me when I go on a trip. I never really cared what others think, but having said that, my trip Makie is a "prop" for a photo assignment whenever someone really asks. Just a "job" and someone has to do it. But you are right, people are judgemental (emphasis on mental) about dolls in general. They are for young girls. Rubbish! Keep on going and love your dolls like only you can. I do the same.

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by MissRead on Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:20 am

howll wrote:That's cool, Missread!

I know this may be controversial to say but I find it harder going out with dolls being a male, because it's not only that you have dolls, it's that people will instantly pull the gay thing out and have you on that.  Urgh, hate shallow mindedness!

I can well imagine!  That is exactly what it is shallow mindedness, but hey, just think what boring lives they must lead?!  Cool

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:16 am

Indeed, I always ask husband "what do "normal" couples talk about?" lol. Because we're always talking about geeky stuff, roleplay, dolls, toys, you know.. fun things.
Hell, I freaking sulked when we went sofa shopping because it was awfully grown up, then I found crayons bwhahaha.

I think I look really young so people assume i'm still a kid. Like yesterday some kids in the park decided to bury me in the sand pit and their mother told them to leave me alone, I honestly think she thought I was a teenager.
I get asked constantly if i'm babysitting, or if my kids are my brothers or if i'm their nanny and so on. it's really odd. I'm rather short so I think that doesn't help.
But it does work to my advantage, sure I get ided more, but I can also get away with playing on swings and colouring in hahaha.

It is hard being a guy and liking dolls though, because yeah, people are so stupid. My husband also likes dolls, particularly princesses and my mother ALWAYS feel the need to remark on it. Like.. why is it your problem woman? His house, his stuff, leave him alone man. If we wants princesses, he can bloody have princesses. And the thing that really annoys me is it's fine for me to have dolls,and it's fine for my sons to have dolls because they're children, but an adult man? for goodness sake, it's so dumb.
The whole "what, is he gay?" thing always pisses me off.

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by Tehwereferret on Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:03 am

This reminded me of some dumb comments I saw on the channel Nicolle's Dreams on YouTube. She's from Australia I believe. Anyway, there were a bunch of people commenting about her needing to grow up, stop playing with dolls, or how she needs gory dolls because that's more adult. 

I haven't gotten around to taking my girl out in public, but my Instagram is full of pics of me posing her and other things I have, such as Danboard and my Poppets by Lisa Snelling.

What's the point of "growing up"? Haha, that's boring! I tell my husband, "I don't feel like adulting today." 

I'm the kind of person who still builds sand castles, has coloring books on her wishlist, and goes to movies aimed at kids. I proudly watch MLP:FiM.

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by sigsi on Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:20 am

howll wrote:I know this may be controversial to say but I find it harder going out with dolls being a male, because it's not only that you have dolls, it's that people will instantly pull the gay thing out and have you on that.  Urgh, hate shallow mindedness!
Funny, I'm kind of concerned about the opposite of this, yet the same thing.
Growing up my mom always tried to get me into hyper-stereotyped-feminine things (didn't like any of it, just tolerated it). I did grow up playing with a variety of not-only-feminine toys, but still did play barbie dolls with my sister. Interestingly enough, all of them were kidnapped, tied up, swung by their hair from fans and almost "killed"...but they were still dolls Wink
The last time I actually played with any sort of doll was maybe around 8/9. Really I never planned on dong anything with dolls since (let alone liking them).
I present androgynously, so my fear of going out in public to take pics of my dolls is getting a "oh, so you like dolls?" confused expression or (mostly just from my mom) "you like dolls so you can like other girly things too".
-------
On a side note about acting like a child at the "technically adult" age of 21, if I could take over the house with cardboard castles, blanket forts, children play tubes, marble runs (and of course cat condos) all the time without the parents freaking out, I would. Very Happy
Thankfully, my brother is still a kid and I can do a lot of stuff I normally wouldn't do in public alone, with him. Not to mention always having a video-game buddy Smile

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Re: Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures

Post by jupiternames on Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:42 am

I try to take the Makies out to photopraph, but I only feel like exposing my dolls to the world occasionally. I can't tell when people look at me funny, so I don't care about that, but I really don't want anyone bugging me about my dolls.

But I'll keep trying to bring them out and photograph them. If I was able to take a plush frog on a trip to Europe and photograph him in public, what's a Makie!?

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