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Theories of Play, Games and Sport
Theories of play, games and sport

A child building a sandcastle on the beach, someone doodling on a notepad in a long meeting, and a worker using company time to play fantasy sports: these are all activities that are commensurate with George Bataille's notion of a ‘general economy’, which he defines as “a play of energy which has no end limits” (1989: 23). Bataille differentiates general economy from specific economic systems, which are understood as “particular operations with limited ends” (22). The aforementioned activities appear to have no systematic or rational utility, or at the very least the potential gains associated with them (for instance, as a form of training) seem insignificant. The necessary articulation that is presumed, within a ...

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