[[abstract]]Tracing the developments and shifts of the definition of “play” this article explicates the characteristics of contemporary play culture. From the 17th century to our contemporary era， three definitions of play have emerged. The first definition holds that play is dominated by human reason and engaged in by man. The second definition claims that play is the subject of man-play relationship， wherein play plays with man and not man plays play. The third definition suggests that play permeates every sphere of man’s life and has displaced reality within human life. The author emphasizes the differences between ‘ludic space’ and ‘real life space’ in order that man can have more latitude and leeway while living in modern society.
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