“The Evolution of Childhood” by Melvin Konner (960 pages from Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, publication date May 31, 2010) compiles thirty years of research, analysis and writing. It is reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz in the May edition of The Atlantic. The paragraph I like is this:

‘Konner is especially interested in play, which is not unique to humans and, indeed, seems to have been present, like the mother-offspring bond, from the dawn of mammals. The smartest mammals are the most playful, so these traits have apparently evolved together. Play, Konner says, “combining as it does great energy expenditure and risk with apparent pointlessness, is a central paradox of evolutionary biology.” It seems to have multiple functions—exercise, learning, sharpening skills—and the positive emotions it invokes may be an adaptation that encourages us to try new things and learn with more flexibility. In fact, it may be the primary means nature has found to develop our brains.’

My take-away: Don’t be ashamed to call Andromeda Training’s Income/Outcome a game!