Hot on the heels of yesterday’s take something that isn’t play and make it play I’m doing the opposite, and enjoying letting down my hair at a party, party, party! It’s interesting to do the reverse of yesterday – to look at something that is obviously play: a few hours, marked out as time to relax and enjoy yourself, and think about what the actual activities are.

After all, you’re still having having conversations with people, negotiating around social etiquette, politely meeting new people you haven’t before, and navigating whether you’re going to be great friends, or never set eyes on one-another again. Ultimately, it’s a lot like the experience of standing on a market stall and selling, or any number of other jobs, in terms of the actual activities you undertake.

The presence of alcohol, on the other hand, might make a bit of a difference. As, of course, does breaking bread with friends. It’s no coincidence that parties tend to revolve around the drinks table or the buffet – it’s where people linger, indulge, and can escape to without offence!

I remember once at a book group I was at someone stopped the conversation and declared: ‘meandering conversations: this is what life is all about!’. I think there was a lot of truth in that, and perhaps it’s exactly the lack of a transaction that makes the experience of going to a party so much fun. A while without responsibilities, without needing to worry about where sustenance will come from, or whether you’re allowed to speak to the person next to you. A short period of time with only possibility!

I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party. – Ron White

Ease of play: 8/10

Resemblance to play: 9/10 

Aggression: Low-to-Medium

Speed: Medium

Enjoyability: High

Potential frequency of play: Medium

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