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What does "fun" look like?

Bright colors, games of chance, singing chickens? Playland in Rye, New York has all of that. I found it interesting to explore this Art Deco amusement park- first opened in 1928- and see what happens when you mash-up different decades ideas of "fun"- from Skee-Ball to Space Invaders.

Life in the 21st century seems to be obsessed with"fun," albeit a very different kind of fun from the one we knew even just a few years ago. Rather than going to a particular place to find fun, we go on Facebook, or Wii, or watch a movie on our phones. Rather than being something we do with other people, play has become something rather solitary... we play wherever we are with the help of technology we carry around in our pocket.

Consequently, the play we still gather to do becomes ever more extreme: a race to fill a clown's mouth with a water gun, or to shoot all the points off a paper star was once exciting, but seems quaint when compared with the laser shows, virtual reality rides and 140 mph roller coasters of modern parks.

What I wonder is: where does Playland fit in, in this brave new world of fun?

stephenschau

About the Author

Stephen Schaub
stephenschau Pawlet, Vermont
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