Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Risk in Play
Michael John Apter
Risks are unavoidable in life and have to be taken for all kinds of serious purposes—as in entrepreneurship, military combat, and surgery. But risks are also often playful and undertaken for fun. Indeed, risky behavior is one of the four basic patterns of play identified by Roger Caillois in his classic work on play and labeled by him alea (meaning “chance”). Various explanations have been proposed for this type of play, although thrill-seeking is the most usual. Risk in play is often associated with the notion of thrill and excitement. Some risks may be slight, and others serious . Gambling is perhaps the most obvious example of playful risk-taking. It has been subjected to much research, especially because of its pathological aspects. Explanations include not only thrill-seeking, ...