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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A hobby is a spare-time recreational pursuit.

1 Origin of term
2 Purposes
3 Development of hobbies into other ventures

Origin of term
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In the Middle Ages, falconry was a very popular pastime (what today might be called a hobby), and of all the different birds used for it, the Eurasian Hobby was perhaps the most popular. It is said that the modern use of hobby to indicate a pastime followed from this.
An alternative explanation is that the usage grew from another recreational animal called hobby: which was a type of small ambling or pacing horse.
A hobby-horse was a wooden or wickerwork toy made to be ridden just like the real hobby. From this came the expression "to ride one's hobby-horse", meaning "to follow a favourite pastime", and in turn, hobby in the modern sense of recreation.

Hobbies are practised for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. Examples include collecting, making, tinkering, sports and adult education. Engaging in a hobby can lead to acquiring substantial skill, knowledge, and experience. However, personal fulfillment is the aim.
What are hobbies for some people are professions for others: a game tester may enjoy cooking as a hobby, while a professional chef might enjoy playing (and helping to debug) computer games. Generally speaking, the person who does something for fun, not remuneration, is called an amateur (or hobbyist), as distinct from a professional.
An important determinant of what is considered a hobby, as distinct from a profession (beyond the lack of remuneration), is probably how easy it is to make a living at the activity. Almost no one can make a living at cigarette card or stamp collecting, but many people find it enjoyable; so it is commonly regarded as a hobby.
Amateur astronomers often make meaningful contributions to the professionals. It is not entirely uncommon for a hobbyist to be the first to discover a celestial body or event.
In the UK, the pejorative noun anorak (similar to the Japanese "otaku", meaning a geek or enthusiast) is often applied to people who obsessively pursue a particular hobby.

Development of hobbies into other ventures
Whilst some hobbies strike many people as trivial or boring, hobbyists have found something compelling and entertaining about them (see geek). Much early scientific research was, in effect, a hobby of the wealthy; more recently, Linux began as a student's hobby. A hobby may not be as trivial as it appears at a time when it has relatively few followers. Thus a British conservationist recalls that when seen wearing field glasses at a London station in the 1930s he was asked if he was going to the (horse) races. The anecdote indicates that at the time an interest in wildlife was not widely perceived as a credible hobby. Practitioners of that hobby went on to become the germs of the conservation movement that flourished in Britain from 1965 onwards and became a global political movement within a generation. Conversely, the hobby of aircraft spotting probably originated as part of a serious activity designed to detect arriving waves of enemy aircraft entering English airspace during World War II. In peacetime it clearly has no such practical or social purpose.
Pursuit of a hobby may have calming or helpful therapeutic side effects. In some cases, however, (for example in collecting) the line between a hobby and an obsession can become blurred. There is more than one documented case of violence over things as simple as coin collecting[citation needed].

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1 Etymology
2 Definitions
2.1 Chris Crawford
2.2 Ludwig Wittgenstein
3 Animals and games
4 Anthropology of games
4.1 Classes of games
4.1.1 Games of skill
4.1.2 Games of strategy
4.1.3 Games of chance
4.1.4 Mixed games
4.2 Games versus sports
5 One-player games
6 Types of games

Tug of war is an easily organized, impromptu game that requires little equipment.
Card game, 1895.A game is an activity, generally recreational in nature, involving one or more players. Most commonly, the word refers to board, card and video games as well as sports. A game generally consists of a goal that the players try to reach and a set of rules that determines what the players can or cannot do. Games are played primarily for entertainment or enjoyment, but may also serve as exercise or perform an educational, simulational or psychological role. Group leaders can use games for creating or altering an individual's ego-boundary or a group's interpersonal boundaries. Games can also be used to alter an individual's or a group's mood. Since games can generate a higher and less cognitive arousal level, they are useful after a large meal or a long and tedious task, but are not good for pre-sleep needs.
Although games have been played since prehistoric times, much of our understanding about them remains speculative.

This article or section needs copy editing
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You can help by editing it now. A guide is available, as is general editing help.This section does not cite its references or sources.
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Game is a common Teutonic word, in Old English gamen, in Old High German gaman, but only appears in modern usage outside English in Danish gam men and Swedish gammon. The ulterior derivation is obscure, but philologists have identified it with the Gothic goman, meaning companion or companionship; if this be so, it is a compounded of the prefix ga-, meaning with, and the root seen in man.
Apart from its primary and general meaning, the word has two specific applications, first to a contest played as a recreation or as an exhibition of skill, in accordance with rules and regulations; and, secondly, to wild animals hunted for food. A special use restricts the term to gambling. Gamble, gambler and gambling appear very late in English. The earliest quotations in the New English Dictionary for the three words are dated 1775, 1747 and 1784 respectively. They were first regarded as cant or slang words, and implied a reproach, either as referring to cheats or sharpers, or to those who played recklessly for extravagant stakes. The form of the words is obscure, but is supposed to represent a local variation gammle of the Middle English gamenian. From this word must, of course, be distinguished gambol, to sport or to frisk, which, as the older forms (gambald, gambaud) show, is from the French gambade, leap, jump, of a horse, Italian gambado, gamba, leg (Modern French jambe).
This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Look up Game in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.Games can involve one player acting alone, or two or more players acting cooperatively, but most involve competition among two or more players or between two teams, limited by rules. (Taking an action that falls outside the rules generally constitutes a foul or cheating.) Beyond this, the definition varies widely.

Chris Crawford
In his book Chris Crawford on Game Design, Chris Crawford defines the term game (p. 6) using a series of dichotomies:
Creative expression is art if made for its own beauty, and entertainment if made for money. (This is the least rigid of his definitions. Crawford acknowledges that he often chooses a creative path over conventional business wisdom, which is why he rarely produces sequels to his games.)
A piece of entertainment is a plaything if it is interactive. Movies and books are cited as examples of non-interactive entertainment.
If no goals are associated with a plaything, it is a toy. (Crawford notes that by his definition, (a) a toy can become a game element, if the player makes up rules, and (b) The Sims and SimCity are toys, not games.) If it has goals, a plaything is a challenge.
If a challenge has no “active agent against whom you compete,” it is a puzzle; if there is one, it is a conflict. (Crawford admits this is a subjective test. Some games with noticeably algorithmic AI can be played as puzzles; see, for example, Pac-Man#Ghosts.)
Finally, if the player can only outperform the opponent, but not attack them to interfere with their performance, the conflict is a competition. (Competitions include racing and figure skating.) However, if attacks are allowed, then the conflict qualifies as a game.
Crawford also notes (ibid.) these other definitions:

“A form of play with goals and structure.” (Kevin Maroney)
“A game is a form of art in which participants, termed players, make decisions in order to manage resources through game tokens in the pursuit of a goal.” (Greg Costikyan)
“An activity with some rules engaged in for an outcome.” (Eric Zimmerman)

Ludwig Wittgenstein
In Philosophical Investigations, philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein argued that the concept "game" could not be contained by any single definition, but that games must be looked at as a series of definitions that share a "family resemblance" to one another. Games were important to Wittgenstein's later thought; he held that language was itself a game, consisting of tokens governed by rough-and-ready rules that arise by convention and are not strict.

Animals and games
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Although many animals play while young, only humans are known to have games and to play as adults. Whether any other animals are intelligent enough to game is debatable, though a game has ritualistic elements (such as rules and procedures) that are voluntarily acted upon, rather than as a result of instinct. The existence of rules and criteria that decide the outcome of games imply that games require intelligence of a significant degree of sophistication.
Non-human animal species may engage in games whose rules and sophistication humans cannot yet detect. It would, for example, seem incongruous that large-brained species such as many Cetaceans and the larger hominids did not play games. Our inability to observe and understand such games should not be taken as a confirmation that they do not exist. Courtship displays in some birds, such as the Black Grouse, appear (from an anthropological view) to include games with clear victors and losers.

Anthropology of games
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Various children’s games, 1560.Games, being a characteristic human activity strongly determined by custom and the frequent subjects of folklore, have been the subject of anthropological investigations.

Classes of games
While many different subdivisions have been proposed, anthropologists classify games under three major headings, and have drawn some conclusions as to the social bases that each sort of game requires.

Games of skill
Main article: Game of skill
This category includes Games of skill, such as hopscotch and target shooting, and games of mental skill such as checkers. Games of pure skill are likely the oldest sort of game, and are found in all cultures, regardless of their level of material culture.

Games of strategy
Chess consists of nearly pure strategy.Main article: Strategy game
Games of strategy, such as checkers, go, and tic-tac-toe, require a higher material basis. They are associated with cultures that possess a written language: not surprising, since most strategy games are based on mathematics and feature the manipulation of symbols. They often require special equipment to be played. They are associated with hierarchical societies that place a high value on obedience.

Games of chance
Main article: Game of chance
Games of chance, such as craps and snakes and ladders, appear at a variety of levels of material culture; what they seem to share generally is a sense of economic insecurity. They are associated with cultures that place a high value on personal responsibility, keeping one's word, and maintaining personal standing in the face of misfortune; in other words, with "cultures of honor".

Mixed games
Monopoly, the best-selling board game ever, is a game of strategy with some chance.In addition to these basic classifications, there are mixed games; such as football and baseball, involving both skill and strategy, and poker, involving strategy and chance. Baseball Hall of Famer Casey Stengel addressed the illusion of luck dominating skill in his sport when he remarked, "I had many years when I was not so successful as a ballplayer, as it is a game of skill."

Games versus sports
Soccer is a popular sport worldwide.There is no clear line of demarcation between games and sports. (Indeed, some say sports are a subclass of games.) Generally, sports are athletic in nature, and have an element of physical prowess, but then so do many games. For cultural anthropologists, the distinction between games and sports hinges on community involvement. Sports often require special equipment and playing fields or prepared grounds dedicated to their practice, a fact that often makes necessary the involvement of a community beyond the players themselves. Most sports can have spectators. Communities often align themselves with players of sports, who in a sense represent that community; they often align themselves against their opponents, or have traditional rivalries. The concept of fandom began with sports fans. Games amuse the players; sports amuse a broader public; in advanced material cultures, sports can be played by paid professionals. When games like chess and go or even video games are played professionally, they take on many of the characteristics of a sport.
Stanley Fish, looking for a clear example of the sorts of social constructions, cited the balls and strikes of baseball as example. While the strike zone target is governed by the rules of the game, it epitomizes the category of things that exist only because people have agreed to treat them as real. No pitch is a ball or a strike until it has been labeled as such by an appropriate authority, the plate umpire, whose judgment on this matter cannot be challenged within the current game.

One-player games
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Most puzzles, and some card games, are for one player. As well, most computer and video games have single-player modes.
One-player games are sometimes called solitaire games, but this term may be misinterpreted as referring specifically to peg solitaire, Spider Solitaire or Klondike.

Types of games
For a more comprehensive list, see Game classification
Alternate reality game
Ball games
Board games
Business games
Car games
Card games
Collectible card games
Casino games
Children's games
Clapping games
Computer and video games
Computer board games
Computer puzzle games
Online games
Online skill-based games
Conversation games
Counting-out games
Creative games
Dice games
Drinking games
Educational games
Economics games
Game shows
Games of chance
Games of dare
Games of logic
Games of physical activity
Games of physical skill
Games of skill
Games of strategy
Games of status
Global Positioning System-based games
Group-dynamic games
Guessing games
Letter games
Locative games
Mathematical games
Open gaming
Party games
Parlour games
Pencil and paper games
Penis games
Play-by-mail games
Playground games
Political games
Pub games
Role-playing games
Singing games
Spoken games
Street games
String games
Table-top games
Tile-based games
Theater games (Theatre games)
Traditional games
Travel games
Win-win games
Word games

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1 Animals and nature
2 Architectural
3 Art
4 Antiques
5 Books and periodicals
6 Currency and stamps
7 Household
8 Products
9 Paper collectibles
10 Technology
11 Textiles
12 Theme
13 Toys

The hobby of collecting consists of acquiring specific items based on a particular interest of the collector. These collections of things are often highly organized, carefully cataloged, and attractively displayed.
Since collecting depends on the interests of the individual collector, it may deal with almost any subject. The depth and breadth of the collection may also vary. Some collectors choose to focus on a specific subtopic within their area of general interest: for example, 19th Century postage stamps, milk bottle labels from Sussex, or Mongolian harnesses and tack. Others prefer to keep a more general collection, accumulating Star Trek merchandise, or stamps from all countries of the world.
Some collections are capable of being completed, at least to the extent of owning one sample of each possible item in the collection (e.g. a copy of every book by Agatha Christie). Collectors who specifically try to assemble complete collections in this way are sometimes called "completists." Upon completing a particular collection, they may stop collecting, expand the collection to include related items, or begin an entirely new collection.
The most popular fields in collecting have specialized commercial dealers that trade in the items being collected, as well as related accessories. Many of these dealers started as collectors themselves, then turned their hobby into a profession.
There are some limitations on collecting, however. Someone who has the financial means to collect stamps might not be able to collect sports-cars, for example. One alternative to collecting physical objects is collecting experiences of a particular kind. Examples include collecting through observation or photography (especially popular for transportation, e.g. train spotting, aircraft spotting, metrophiles, bus spotting; see also I-Spy), bird-watching, and systematically visiting states, countries, continents, national parks, etc.
Items and subjects that are popular in collecting include the following:

Animals and nature
Butterfly collecting
Conchology - collecting seashells
Fossil collecting
Model Horses (Breyer, Peter Stone, North Light, Hagen-Renaker, Royal Worcester, etc)
Skulls and Skeletons (see Maceration)
Oology - collecting eggs

Lighting, Lamps, & Lampshades
Locks & Keys

Native American Art
Folk Art

Jewelry and Gemstones

Books and periodicals
Bibliophilia - Book collecting, often by genre
Reference books
Directories & Guides (phone books, etc.)
Comic book collecting

Currency and stamps
Notaphily - Paper currency collecting
Numismatics - coin collecting
Philatelic - Postage stamps
Token coins

China, Porcelain & Pottery
Christmas (Holiday collectibles)
Glass & Crystal
Holiday collectibles
Music boxes
Kitchen collectibles
Cookie Jars
Coverings (sleaves/bags etc.)
Perfume bottles
Refrigerator magnets
Sterling silver

Avon collectibles
Classic cars
Automobile license plates (only legal in places where the plates are not government property)
Brand article collecting
Entertainment Memorabilia
Lunch boxes
Milk bottles
Road Signs
Soda pop bottles
Tobacco tins
Smoking collectibles
Tea bags

Paper collectibles
Advertising art
Bibliophilia - collecting autographs
Maps and Globes
Lotology - collecting Lottery tickets
Phone-card collecting
Playing cards
Tarot cards
Scripophily - collecting stock certificates)
Sticker (paper)
Trading cards
Sports cards
Baseball cards
Basketball cards
Football cards
Hockey cards
Non-sports cards

Appliances (Household)
Computers (especially Vintage computers)
AOL disks
Video games
Fans (Vintage/Collectible)
Farm Collectibles
Firearms (Militaria)
Fountain pens
Vintage Records
Scientific Instruments
Watches & Clocks
Vending machines (Coin-op machines)

Buttons (vintage clothing)
Vintage Clothing & Accessories
Scutelliphily - Patch collecting & badges

Cowboy (Western Americana)
Fire department collectibles
Gambling/gaming collectibles
Civil War
Military art
Military models
Military uniforms
Model figures
Tin soldiers
Nautical Antiques & Collectibles
Political Collectibles
Campaign buttons
Bumper stickers
Railroad Collectibles
Science Fiction
Boy Scout and Girl Guide memorabilia
History of merit badges (Boy Scouts of America)
Sports Collectibles - see also: trading cards and autographes
baseballs and baseball bats
Clothing (hats, jersies)
Travel Collectibles
Western Americana
World's Fair Collectibles

Action figures
Disney pin trading
Board games
Teddy bears
Beanie babies
Scale models
Model airplanes
Model cars & trucks
Model trains
Ship models

For more information on Collecting, please visit
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Venus de Milo exhibited in the Louvre museum, France.By its original and broadest definition, art (from the Latin ars, meaning "skill" or "craft") is the product or process of the effective application of a body of knowledge, most often using a set of skills; this meaning is preserved in such phrases as "liberal arts" and "martial arts". However, in the modern use of the word, which rose to prominence during the Renaissance, art is commonly understood to be the process or result of making material works (or artwork) which, from concept to creation, adhere to the "creative impulse"—that is, art is distinguished from other works by being in large part unprompted by necessity, by biological drive, or by any undisciplined pursuit of recreation. By both definitions of the word, artistic works have existed for almost as long as humankind, from early pre-historic art to contemporary art.

Contents [hide]
1 Defining art
2 Etymology
3 Art forms
3.1 Characteristics of art
3.2 Skill
3.3 Judgments of value
3.4 Communicating emotion
3.5 Creative impulse
4 Differences in defining art
4.1 Plato
4.2 Aristotle
4.3 Institutional definition
5 Related issues
5.1 Social criticism
5.2 Utility
5.3 History of art
5.4 Symbols
6 Cultural differences of art

Defining art
There is often confusion about the meaning of the term art because multiple meanings of the word are used interchangeably. Individuals use the word art to identify painting, as well as singing.
The creative arts are a collection of disciplines whose principal purpose is in the output of material that is compelled by a personal drive and echoes or reflects a message, mood, or symbolism for the viewer to interpret. As such, the term art may be taken to include forms as diverse as prose writing, poetry, dance, acting, music, sculpture and painting. In addition to serving as a method of pure creativity and self-expression, the purpose of works of art may be to communicate ideas, such as in politically-, religiously-, or philosophically-motivated art, to create a sense of beauty (see aesthetics and fine art), to explore the nature of perception, for pleasure, or to generate strong emotions. The purpose may also be seemingly nonexistent.
As a form of cultural expression, art may be defined by the pursuit of diversity and the usage of narratives of liberation and exploration (i.e. art history, art criticism, and art theory) to mediate its boundaries. This distinction may be applied to objects or performances, current or historical, and its prestige extends to those who made, found, exhibit, or own them. Other than originality, there are no widely agreed-upon criteria for what is or isn't considered "art", and there are many divergent definitions of art to seek more specific requirements.

The word art derives from the Latin ars, which roughly translates to "skill" or "craft", and also from an Indo-European root meaning "arrangement" or "to arrange". This is the only near-universal definition of art: that whatever is described as such has undergone a deliberate process of arrangement by an agent. A few examples where this meaning proves very broad include artifact, artificial, artifice, artillery, medical arts, and military arts. However, there are many other colloquial uses of the word, all with some relation to its etymology.
Art has not always been what we think it is today. An object regarded as Art today may not have been perceived as such when it was first made, nor was the person who made it necessarily regarded as an artist. Both the notion of "art" and the idea of the "artist" are relatively modern terms.
Many of the objects we identify as art today -- Greek painted pottery, medieval manuscript illuminations, and so on -- were made in times and places when people had no concept of "art" as we understand the term. These objects may have been appreciated in various ways and often admired, but not as "art" in the current sense.
Art lacks a satisfactory definition. It is easier to describe it as the way something is done -- "the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others"[1] -- rather than what it is.

Art forms
Detail of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, showing the painting technique of sfumatoThere are a variety of arts including visual arts and design, decorative arts, plastic arts, and the performing arts. Artistic expression takes many forms. Painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, music, literature, and architecture are the most widely recognised forms. However, since the advent of modernism and the technological revolution, new forms have emerged. These include:
video art
installation art
conceptual art
performance art
community arts
land art
computer art
art intervention
video games(most recent)
Within each form a wide range of genres may exist. For instance, a painting may be a still life, a portrait, or a landscape, and may also deal with historical or domestic subjects. In addition, a work of art may be representational or abstract.
Although there is no clear dividing line, most forms of art fit under two main categories: fine arts and applied arts. It has been proposed that each of the fine arts deal specifically with a main characteristic or trait as follows:
literature is related to words
painting is related to colors
architecture to the line
sculpture to the shape or form
dance to movement
music to sound
Of all these, music is the only one that has the quality of invisibility. In the visual arts, the term fine arts most often refer to paintings and sculptures; arts which have little or no practical function, are valued in terms of the visual pleasure they provide, or their success in communicating ideas or feelings. Other visual arts typically designated as fine arts include printmaking, drawing, photography, film, and video. Often the tools used to realize these media are used to make applied or commercial art as well. Architecture typically confounds the distinctions between fine and applied art, since the form involves designing structures that strive to be both attractive and functional. The term applied arts is most often used to describe the design or decoration of functional objects in order to make them visually pleasing. Artists who create applied arts or crafts are usually referred to as designers, artisans, or craftspeople.

Characteristics of art
There follow some generally accepted characteristics of art. After those, there is a more lengthy discussion of several of the facets perceived as universal or central to art:
encourages an intuitive understanding rather than a rational understanding, as, for example, with an article in a scientific journal;
was created with the intention of evoking such an understanding or an attempt at such an understanding in the audience;
was created with no other purpose or function other than to be itself (a radical, "pure art" definition);
elusive, in that the work may communicate on many different levels of appreciation; For example,in the case of Gericault's Raft of the Medusa, special knowledge concerning the shipwreck that the painting depicts, is not a prerequisite to appreciating it, but allows the appreciation of Gericault's political intentions in the piece.
in relation to the above, the piece may offer itself to many different interpretations, or, though it superficially depicts a mundane event or object, invites reflection upon elevated themes;
demonstrates a high level of ability or fluency within a medium; this characteristic might be considered a point of contention, since many modern artists (most notably, conceptual artists) do not themselves create the works they conceive, or do not even create the work in a conventional, demonstrative sense (one might think of Tracey Emin's controversial My Bed);
the conferral of a particularly appealing or aesthetically satisfying structure or form upon an original set of unrelated, passive constituents.

Adam. Detail from Michelangelo's fresco in the Capella Sistina (1511)Art can connote a sense of trained ability or mastery of a medium. An example of this is the contemporary young master Josignacio, creator of Plastic Paint Medium. Art can also simply refer to the developed and efficient use of a language to convey meaning with immediacy and or depth.
A common view is that the epithet 'art', particular in its elevated sense, requires a certain level of creative expertise by the artist, whether this be a demonstration of technical ability (such as one might find in many works of the Rennaissanceor an originality in stylistic approach such as in the plays of Shakespeare), or a combination of these two. For example, a common contemporary criticism of some modern art occurs along the lines of objecting to the apparent lack of skill or ability required in the production of the artistic object. One might take Tracey Emin's My Bed, or Hirst's The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, as examples of pieces wherein the artist exercised little to no traditionally recognised set of skills, but may be said to have innovated by exercising skill in manipulating the mass media as a medium. In the first case, Emin simply slept (and engaged in other activities) in her bed before placing the result in a gallery. She has been insistent that there is a high degree of selection and arrangement in this work, which include objects such as underwear and bottles around the bed. The shocking mundanity of this arrangement has proved to be startling enough to lead others to begin to interpret the work as art. In the second case, Hirst came up with the conceptual design for the artwork. Although he physically participated in the creation of this piece, he has left the eventual creation of many other works to employed artisans. In this case the celebrity of Hirst is founded entirely on his ability to produce shocking concepts, the actual production is, as with most objects a matter of assembly. These approaches are exemplary of a particular kind of contemporary art known as conceptual art.
The exclusionary view that art requires a certain skill level to produce is often described as a lay critique when it is applied solely to the skills of physical production. However when a broader view of what the term skill can apply to is adopted, such as organisation, publicity, finance, or politics, that critique can lead to an informed, insightful understanding of the work in question. It is possible that the common mis-application of the lay critique derives from the fact that in Western culture at least, art has traditionally been pushed in the direction of representationalism, the literal presentation of reality through literal images.
Criticism has often been brought to bear on modern artists for having no creative involvement whatsoever in the manufacture of their creations: one might take Hirst's work again as emblematic of this approach. While certain forms of art outside a Western tradition, such as Islamic geometric designs and calligraphy, Buddhist or Hindu mandalas and Celtic knotwork, though they are non-representational, still require a measure of skill and certain creative involvement in their execution, without questioning the traditional form.

Judgments of value
Aboriginal hollow log tombs. National Gallery, Canberra, AustraliaSomewhat in relation to the above, the word art is also used to apply judgments of value, as in such expressions like "that meal was a work of art" (the cook is an artist), or "the art of deception," (the highly attained level of skill of the deceiver is praised). It is this use of the word as a measure of high quality and high value that gives the term its flavor of subjectivity.

Making judgments of value requires a basis for criticism. At the simplest level, a way to determine whether the impact of the object on the senses meets the criteria to be considered art, is whether it is perceived to be attractive or repellent. Though perception is always colored by experience, and can be necessarily subjective, it is commonly taken that that which is not aesthetically satisfying in some fashion cannot be art. However, "good" art is not always or even regularly aesthetically appealing to a majority of viewers. In other words, an artist's prime motivation need not be the pursuit of the aesthetic. Also, art often depicts terrible images made for social, moral, or thought-provoking reasons. For example, Francisco Goya's painting depicting the Spanish shootings of 3rd of May 1808, is a graphic depiction of a firing squad executing several pleading civilians. Yet at the same time, the horrific imagery demonstrates Goya's keen artistic ability in composition and execution and his fitting social and political outrage. Thus, the debate continues as to what mode of aesthetic satisfaction, if any, is required to define 'art'.
The assumption of new values or the rebellion against accepted notions of what is aesthetically superior need not occur concurrently with a complete abandonment of the pursuit of that which is aesthetically appealing. Indeed, the reverse is often true, that in the revision of what is popularly conceived of as being aesthetically appealing, allows for a re-invigoration of aesthetic sensibility, and a new appreciation for the standards of art itself. Countless schools have proposed their own ways to define quality, yet they all seem to agree in at least one point: once their aesthetic choices are accepted, the value of the work of art is determined by its capacity to transcend the limits of its chosen medium in order to strike some universal chord, by the rarity of the skill of the artist, or in its accurate reflection in what is termed the zeitgeist.

Communicating emotion
Art appeals to human emotions. It can arouse aesthetic or moral feelings, and can be understood as a way of communicating these feelings. Artists express something so that their audience is aroused to some extent, but they do not have to do so consciously. Art explores what is commonly termed as the human condition that is essentially what it is to be human. Effective art often brings about some new insight concerning the human condition either singly or en-mass, which is not necessarily always positive, or necessarily widens the boundaries of collective human ability. the degree of skill that the artist has, will affect their ability to trigger an emotional response and thereby provide new insights, the ability to manipulate them at will shows exemplary skill.

Creative impulse
From one perspective, art is a generic term for any product of the creative impulse, out of which sprang all other human pursuits, such as science via alchemy, and religion via shamanism. The term 'art' offers no true definition besides those based within the cultural, historical, and geographical context in which it is applied. Though to artists themselves, the impulse to create can be strong. One might compare Kandinsky's inner necessity to this popular view. It is because of the desire to create in the face of financial hardship, lack of recognition, or political opposition, that artists are sometimes thought of as misguided, or eccentric. However the romantic myth of the starving artist in 'his' garret is a very rare occurence.

Differences in defining art

Plato and Aristotle: detail from Raphael's The School of Athens fresco.Definitions of art and aesthetic arguments usually proceed from one of several possible perspectives. Art may be defined by the intention of the artist, as in the writings of Dewey. Art may be seen as being in the response/emotion of the viewer, as Tolstoy claims. In Danto's view, it can be defined as a character of the item itself or as a function of an object's context.

For Plato, art is a pursuit whose adherents are not to be trusted; given that their productions imitate the sensory world (itself an imitation of the divine world of forms) art necessarily is an imitation of an imitation, and thus is hopelessly far from the source of the truth. Plato, it may be noted, barred artists from access to his ideal city, in his Republique.

Aristotle saw art in less of a bad light; though he shared Plato's poor opinion of it, he nevertheless thought that art might serve the purpose of emotional catharsis. That is, by witnessing the sufferings and celebrations of actors onstage onlookers might vicariously experience these same feelings themselves, and thereby purge such negative feelings.

Institutional definition
Many people's opinions of what art is would fall inside a relatively small range of accepted standards, or "institutional definition of art" (George Dickie 1974). This derives from education and other social factors. Most people did not consider the depiction of a Brillo Box or a store-bought urinal to be art until Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp (respectively) placed them in the context of art (i.e., the art gallery), which then provided the association of these objects with the values that define art (Although, strictly speaking, Warhol's artwork was not an actual Brillo box but an exact replica of one - so it met the traditional criterion of skill at the very least).
Most viewers of these objects initially rejected such associations, because the objects did not, themselves, meet the accepted criteria. The objects needed to be absorbed into the general consensus of what art is before they achieved the near-universal acceptance as art in the contemporary era. Once accepted and viewed with a fresh eye, the smooth, white surfaces of Duchamp's urinal are strikingly similar to classical marble sculptural forms, whether the artist intended it or not. This type of recontextualizing provides the same spark of connection expected from any traditionally created art. It should be noted, however, that Duchamp's act might be as readily interpreted as a demonstration of the (not always beneficial) power of artistic institutions, rather than the universal art potentially inherent in all objects.
The placement of an object in an artistic context is not taken as a universal standard of art, but is a common characteristic of conceptual art, prevalent since the 1960s; notably, the Stuckist art movement criticises this tendency of recent art.

Related issues

Social criticism

Versailles: Louis Le Vau opened up the interior court to create the expansive entrance cour d'honneur, later copied all over EuropeArt is often seen as belonging to one social class and excluding others. In this context, art is seen as a high-status activity associated with wealth, the ability to purchase art, and the leisure required to pursue or enjoy it. The palaces of Versailles or the Hermitage in St. Petersburg with their vast collections of art, amassed by the fabulously wealthy royalty of Europe exemplify this view. Collecting such art is the preserve of the rich, in one viewpoint.
Before the 13th century in Europe, artisans were considered to belong to a lower caste, since they were essentially manual labourers. After Europe was re-exposed to classical culture during the Renaissance, particularly in the nation-states of what is now Italy (Florence, Siena), artists gained an association with high status. However, arrangements of "fine" and expensive goods have always been used by institutions of power as marks of their own status. This is seen in the 20th and 21st century by the commissioning or purchasing of art by big businesses and corporations as decoration for their offices.

There are many who ascribe to certain arts the quality of being non-utilitarian. This fits within the "art as good" system of definitions and suffers from a class prejudice against labor and utility. Opponents of this view argue that all human activity has some utilitarian function, and these objects claimed to be "non-utilitarian" actually have the rather mundane and banal utility of attempting to mystify and codify unworkable justifications for arbitrary social hierarchy. It might also be argued that non-utilitarian is, in this context, a mis-usage; that art is not in and of itself, useless, but rather that it particularly use does not manifest itself in any traditionally demonstrable way (though advances in neuroscience may arguably enable the isolation of those associated cortices of the brain concerned with the creation or appreciation of art)
Art is also used by art therapists and some psychotherapists and clinical psychologists as art therapy. The end product is not the principal goal in this case; rather a process of healing, through creative acts, is sought. The resultant piece of artwork may also offer insight into the troubles experienced by the subject and may suggest suitable approaches to be used in more conventional forms of psychiatric therapy.

Grafiti, an artform considered by some to be vandalism
The "use" of art from the artist’s standpoint is as a means of expression. When art is conceived as a device, it serves several context and perspective specific functions. From the artist’s perspective it allows one to symbolize complex ideas and emotions in an arbitrary language subject only to the interpretation of the self and peers.
In a social context, it can serve to soothe the soul and promote popular morale. In a more negative aspect of this facet, art is often utilised as a form of propaganda, and thus can be used to subtly influence popular conceptions or mood (in some cases, artworks are appropriated to be used in this manner, without the creator's initial intention).
From a more anthropological perspective, art is a way of passing ideas and concepts on to later generations in a (somewhat) universal language. The interpretation of this language is very dependent upon the observer’s perspective and context, and it might be argued that the very subjectivity of art demonstrates its importance in providing an arena in which rival ideas might be exchanged and discussed, or to provide a social context in which disparate groups of people might congregate and mingle.

History of art
"On White II", by Kandinsky 1923Main article: History of Art
The term 'art history' typically refers to a historical examination of the various trends of the visual arts through certain periods of human history. It may also be taken to encompass a study of the theories of art, which may or may not include an examination of their historical context.

Main article: Symbols
Much of the development of individual artist deals with finding principles for how to express certain ideas through various kinds of symbolism. For example, Vasily Kandinsky developed his use of color in painting through a system of stimulus response, where over time he gained an understanding of the emotions that can be evoked by color and combinations of color. Contemporary artist Andy Goldsworthy, on the other hand, chose to use the medium of found natural objects and materials to arrange temporary sculptures.

Cultural differences of art
Several genres of art are grouped by cultural relevance, examples can be found in terms such as:
Aboriginal art
African art
American craft
Western art
Islamic art
Asian art as found in:
Buddhist art
Indian art
Chinese art
Japanese art
Tibetan art
Thai art
Laotian art
Korean art
Visual arts of the United States
List of Latin American artists
List of Mexican artists

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A craft is a skill, especially involving practical arts. It may refer to a trade or particular art.
Crafts as artistic practices are defined either by their relationship to functional or utilitarian products, such as sculptural forms in the vessel tradition, or by their use of such natural media as wood, clay, glass, textiles, and metal. Folk art follows craft traditions, in contrast to fine art or high art.
Both Freemasonry and Wicca are alternatively known as 'The Craft' by their adherents.
The term is often used in conjunction with another word.
A craft-brother is a fellow worker in a particular trade
A craft guild is, historically, a guild of workers in the same trade
A craft fair is an event organized to display crafts by exhibitors.
A studio craft refers to crafts practiced by independent artists working alone or in small groups. Studio craft includes studio pottery, metal work, weaving, wood turning and other forms of wood working, glass blowing and glass art.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A teddy bearA toy is something used in play by children, adults or pets. A toy differs from a game in that toy play does not have clearly defined goals. Many items are manufactured to serve as toys, but items produced for other purposes can also be used as toys. For example, a child may pick up a household item and and 'fly' it around, imagining it as an airplane. Other items, marketed as toys, are intended primary as collector's items and are unlikely to be played with.
The origin of toys in prehistoric; dolls of infants, animals, or soldiers, and miniature representations of the tools of adults are readily found at archaeological sites. The origin of the word is unknown, but it is believed to have been first used in the 14th century.[1]

1 History
2 Types of toys
2.1 Construction toys
2.2 Dolls
2.3 Toy vehicles
2.4 Mechanical puzzles
2.4.1 History of mechanical puzzles
2.5 Software toys
2.6 Action toys
2.7 Toys for commercial promotion
2.8 Unintended toys
2.9 Examples
3 Toys in child development
4 References
5 Further reading


Types of toys

Construction toys
A construction set is a toy that is a collection of separate pieces that can be joined together in many different ways, for example to create model cars, spaceships or houses. The things that are built are sometimes used as toys once completed, but for many players the most fun is to be had from building things of their own designs, so that old models often get broken up in order to reuse pieces for new models.
Construction sets such as the all time classic LEGO building blocks and Lincoln Logs have long been an appreciable child's pastime. Indeed, the ancient Greek philosopher Plato wrote that the future architect should play at building houses as a child. [2] Anatomically correct models could also be considered construction sets, the hobby of constructing these models is shared by boys and girls, men and women, of all ages. If one were to extend the definition of construction sets even further it might also include Build it Yourself houses, or any number of sets sold to be assembled into useful shelters or furniture. Construction sets appeal to people who like working with their hands, puzzle solvers, and imaginative sorts.
Other examples:
Erector Set
Lincoln Logs
A doll is a model of a human (often a baby), a humanoid (like Bert and Ernie), an animal or a fictional character (like a Troll or a Smurf), usually made of cloth or plastic. Sometimes, intended as keepsakes or collections for older children and adults, it could be made in wood, porcelain, bisque, celluloid or wax. Some dolls are intended as toys for children, usually girls, to play with. Others are for decoration or have some cultural significance, possibly for use in some ceremony or ritual, or as a physical representation of a deity. Archaeological evidence places dolls as foremost candidate for oldest known toy, having been found in Egyptian tombs which date to as early as 2000 BC.
The model is often a miniature, but a baby doll may be of true size. A large model of hard material is called a statue. A doll or animal model of soft material is also called a plush toy or plushie, or simply a stuffed animal. The most popular toy of this type is the familiar Teddy Bear.
Dolls are distinguished from action figures, which are generally of plastic or semi metallic construction and poseable to some extent, and exist largely for the purpose of marketing the television shows or films which feature the characters they are often modeled after. Modern action figures, such as Action Man, are often marketing towards boys, and dolls towards girls.
Also common are various types of miniature figures. Toy soldiers have been a popular toy for centuries, allowing children to act out battles, often with toy military equipment and a castle or fort. Miniature animal figures are also widespread, with children perhaps acting out farm activities with animals and equipment centered around a toy farm.

Toy vehicles
Children have played with miniature versions of vehicles since ancient times, with toy two-wheeled carts being depicted on ancient Greek vases.[3] Modern equivalents include toy [motor vehicle]s such as those produced by Matchbox or Hot Wheels, as well as miniature aircraft. Also common are a variety of toy trains, ranging from wooden sets for younger children such as BRIO to more realistic train models as produced by Lionel and Hornby.

Mechanical puzzles
A mechanical puzzle is a puzzle presented as a set of mechanically interlinked pieces.
Notable mechanical puzzles include:
Nintendo Ten Billion Barrel: manipulate mechanically connected parts of a barrel
Pyraminx: manipulate mechanically connected parts of a pyramid
Rubik's Cube: manipulate mechanically connected 3×3×3 cube
General categories are:
Assembly puzzles
Disassembly puzzles
Interlocking puzzles
Disentanglement Puzzles
Fold Puzzles
Lock puzzle
Trick vessels
Impossible Objects
Dexterity puzzles
Sequential movement puzzle
Simulated mechanical puzzles

History of mechanical puzzles
The oldest known mechanical puzzle comes from Greece and appeared in the 3rd century BC. The game consists of a square divided into 14 parts, and the aim was to create different shapes from these pieces.
In Iran “puzzle-locks” were made as early as the 17th century AD.
The next known occurrence of puzzles is in Japan. In 1742 there is a mention of a game called “Sei Shona-gon Chie No-Ita” in a book. Around the year 1800 the Tangram puzzle from China became popular, and 20 years later it had spread through Europe and America.
The company Richter from Rudolstadt began producing large amounts of Tangram-like puzzles of different shapes, the so-called “Anker-puzzles”.

Puzzle design by W.AltekruseIn 1893 professor Hoffman wrote a book called “Puzzles Old and New”. It contained, amongst other things, more than 40 descriptions of puzzles with secret opening mechanisms. This book grew into a reference work for puzzle games and modern copies exist for those interested.
The beginning of the 20th century was a time in which puzzles were greatly fashionable. The first patents for puzzles were recorded. The puzzle shown in the picture, made of 12 identical pieces by W. Altekruse in the year 1890, was an example of this.
With the invention of materials such as plastic, which were easy to shape, the range of puzzle possibilities grew. Arguably the most famous puzzle worldwide, Rubik's Cube, would not be possible without modern polymers.

Software toys
Most computer games are usually considered to be games, but some are in fact toys as defined by Chris Crawford since they lack clear goals or an explicit end state. Examples include the popular SimCity and its spinoffs, and some other simulation games.

Action toys
A variety of toys are meant to be played with as part of active play. These include many traditional toys such as the hoop, the top and the yo-yo.

Toys for commercial promotion

Dora the Explorer sculpture, and the finished painted toy based on it.Many successful films, television programs, books and sport teams have official merchandise, which often includes related toys. Some notable examples are Star Wars, a science fiction film series, and Manchester United, an English football club.

Unintended toys
Play-Doh, originally intended as a wallpaper cleaner.After trying to create a replacement for synthetic rubber, Earl Warrick inadvertently invented "nutty putty" during World War II. Later, Peter Hodgson recognized the potential as a childhood plaything and packaged it as Silly Putty. Similarly, Play-Doh was created as a wallpaper cleaner.[4] In 1943 Richard James was experimenting with Torsion springs as part of his military research when he saw one come loose and fall to the floor. He was intrigued by the way it flopped around on the floor. He spent two years fine-tuning the design to find the best gauge of steel and coil. After a name change, the Slinky was sold as a toy for both genders in stores throughout the United States.

qfix robot "crash-bobby"[edit]
This is not intended to be a complete list. For a list of all toys on which there are currently articles, see Category:Toys.

Raggedy Ann
Action figures
Digital pet
Toy soldier
Stuffed animals
Pound Puppies
Teddy bear
Drawing toys
Decoder pen
Educational toy
Ant Farm
qfix robot kits
Mechanical toys
Cotton reel tank
Magic trick
Newton's cradle 
A Newton's Cradle('ball clicker')Easy Bake Oven
Miniaturized items
Toy piano
Toy weapon
Model building
Model car
Model railway
Model collecting
Matchbox cars
Science and optical
Spinning top
physical activity and dexterity toys
Frisbee (1950s)
Hula Hoop (1950s)
Pogo stick
Soap-box cart
Yo-Yo (1930s onwards)
Nerf balls

Toys in child development
Rubik's CubeOften toys serve a dual purpose. Besides entertainment, toys also serve to enhance cognitive behavior and to stimulate creativity. Toys for infants include those with distinguishable sounds, bright colors, and a unique feel. During this time, infants begin to recognize shapes, colors and after repetitive use, the nascent person attains familiarity with object reinforcing memory recollection. Coordination and other manual skills develop from subsequent childhood activities of interaction with toys. Marbles, jackstones, and stackable blocks requiring use of hands and bodies. Mental agility, beginning with childhood, is challenged by toyish puzzle of spatial relationships. Play-Doh, Silly Putty and other hands-on materials allow the child to make toys of their own.[5]
Educational toys for children of a greater age often contain some puzzle, problem-solving technique, or mathematical proposition. A popular toy for this age group was the Rubik's Cube. Popularized in the 1980s, solving the cube requires some planning and problem-solving skills. Newton's cradle, a desk toy designed by Simon Prebble, demonstrates the conservation of momentum and energy.

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