Everyone Needs Playtime - Even Professionals!

We all got into this business for fun. Sometimes, it's hard to remember that.

At some level - maybe when we were kids - it was fun that attracted us to the toy business. Something about fun.

But sometimes, and sometimes all too often, now that we're in the biz, so to speak, it doesn't seem at all as fun as we had originally thought it would be.

I think we, more than anyone in any other profession, are the most disappointed. Surrounded by toys and games of our own making, and we still aren't playing as much or as often as we imagined ourselves playing.

I think we are the most disappointed because, at heart, we, the inventors and designers, marketers and manufacturers of fun, are the most sensitive to fun, and especially to the lack thereof. In some ways, probably, we have it better than most people in the world. Who else gets to have all those toys on their desks? But knowing that doesn't seem to help anything.

Here's my conclusion: we have to make it more fun than it is. For our own sakes. For the sake of doing our work. We have to make a conscious, collective effort. We have to keep fun on the agenda. We need to make fun an action item.

How about card games, once a week, for starters? How about Wednesdays. Lunch and Crazy Eights, perhaps? I Doubt You, you say? A game of Spoons? Not a competitor's game for us to "test" and critique. Not an outside submission to judge. Just some innocent, kidlike, public domain games we can all play together.

It's a good start. It not only reminds us about fun, it's fun we're actually having. Playing games we don't have to take seriously we can focus on the fun of it all. Not just the fun of the game. But the fun of the work we are doing together. The fun of being together. The fun of playing together.

Of course, once a week isn't going to be enough. It'll be better. But not enough. The longer we've work in the toy biz, the more seriously we're going to have to take this fun thing. And not just in the office or with a client or customer, and not just in the things we make, but in our neighborhood, in our families, in our kitchens and living rooms.

Seriously, not somberly. Seriously like you take a good game. Fun is something to focus on, meditate on, study, examine, contemplate.

Make a list, for starters, of everything fun in your life. Everything you can think of. Things you do for fun. What it feels like when they really work. Then share your list with your colleagues. This is what I call a "fun conversation." It's remarkable how much you can learn from a good discussion about the things you do for fun. About yourself and your community. About things you forgot were there for you.

There's lot more fun to study.

Of course, you're ever so welcome to me directly.

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