About the Journal

In his landmark study Homo Ludens, Johan Huizinga developed a far-reaching and striking conception of game and play. Play must be conceived as the founding element of culture and society at large. Huizinga’s aim was to understand play as a ‘totality’. The element of play can be observed in all different aspects of culture, ranging from seemingly innocuous leisure activities to the uttermost serious and advanced systems, such as the financial world, science, politics, even warfare. The intellectual reception of Homo Ludens is overwhelming. Great minds such as Georges Bataille, Roger Caillois, Wendy Doniger, Guy Debord, Helmut Plessner, Umberto Eco and many others reflected on Homo Ludens. When the study was first published in 1938, it immediately kindled an ongoing discussion on game and play. Many recognized a revealing cultural theory: a completely different and ground-breaking way of looking at cultural history and everyday reality. Nonetheless there also emerged a critical tradition that raised some crucial questions. Is Huizinga’s theory of play still adequate in modern times? Does it reach far enough? Is it able to comprehend what plays out in times rapid changes, crisis and disorder, the commercialization of games and culture industry, and the existence of gamesmanship, fraud, and spoilsport? Should we include other theories of game and man as a player, such as developed by Jacques Derrida, or Erving Goffman, to comprehend play in modern times?                                                                     

We kindly invite authors to contribute to rethink Homo Ludens, game and play, and to step into the magic circle. IMC welcomes manuscripts written by experts of every relevant field in Humanities and Social Sciences.

Huizinga’s rules of a game:

  1. Playing must be a free activity
  2. It must be standing quite consciously outside “ordinary” life as being “not serious”
  3. It must absorb the player intensely and utterly
  4. It must be connected with no material interest, and no profit can be gained by it
  5. It must proceed within its own proper boundaries of time and space
  6. It must proceed in an orderly manner
  7. It must promote the formation of social groupings
  8. It must be surrounded with secrecy to stress the difference from the common world by disguise or other means (magic circle).