Children's Playground Games and Rhymes

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Children's games are remarkably bullet proof against the passage of time. School playgrounds provide a consistent link between generations, who pass the rules of games from year to year like sacraments. As with other popular expressions of fun, they sometimes come under the stern, unbending and disapproving gaze of authority, who fear the anarchy prevalent in children's games.

Firstly, the rules derive from sources unknown and uncontrollable by them - an alternative power structure unique to children (a teacher has never been "it" in a game of tigs off ground). Secondly, the see dangers lurking in behaviour they can't control: you could lose an eye playing conkers!

Finally, they run counter to the subconsciously egalitarian mantras that run through the corridors of power: all shall have prizes, there are no losers, competition is bad for the id and so on. Yet even under the dim, dull, dishwater of officialdom (and the competing attentions of technology) playgrounds ring with mystic incantations that bypass all other rules.

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Author: Ian Freud   |  Last updated: 23rd September 2014 | © Weird Island 2010-2018
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