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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Today's Big Idea: The Power of Play

The Big Idea for Saturday, July 07, 2012

The world doesn't need any more spreadsheets, says Jane McGonigal. Tear up your to-do list and play a game this weekend instead.

In a recent interview, the video game designer told Big Think that play is just as important than work, even when it comes to productivity. "When we play games," we tap into positive emotions "like curiosity and optimism and creativity, even love. These emotions actually stay with us for up to 24 hours after we finish playing the game," she says. What could be more productive than that? 

There's also Nicole Lazzaro, founder and President of XEODesign, on what makes a game fun (she's studied it scientifically), historian Rachel Maines speculating on whether household chores will one day be made into sport, and -- just for fun -- chef Wylie Dufresne on playing with your food.




  1. 1 3 Reasons Why You Should Play More Games (And Work Fewer Hours)
    Megan Erickson Think Tank
  2. 2 Why You Should Play With Your Food
    Wylie Dufresne
  3. 3 Will Laundry Ever Be Fun?
    Rachel Maines
  4. 4 What Makes a Game Fun?
    Nicole Lazzaro

Today's Big Idea: The Power...

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