Sam Wan comments that “the coolest toys are the ones that give users the freedom to find their own uses for that toy.”

In Vygotsky’s Mind in Society, he notes that “play is the realm of spontaneity and freedom.” However, in his studies of imaginative play in children, he observes that children will subordinate their own wants to the greater pleasure of following the rules. He concludes that “the essential attribute of play is a rule that has become a desire.”

Rules provide freedom. The really fun toys give you just enough constraints to inspire creativity and make it easy to create great stuff.

I just posted a new header graphic on this site: the artist’s interpretation of an ultrasaurus. Actually, it is a SWF. It will tell you if someone is also viewing the site. Try it with your friends (or you can cheat and open two browser windows).

It’s a work in progress. It’s not so much fun knowing someone is there if you can’t talk to them. As is, it seems spooky, or maybe just frustrating.