It's Playtime - 2018's Biggest Cultural Trend

With the world becoming ever-drearier, Sophie White suggests you cope by channelling your inner child now and again.

Trends are a result of so many disparate elements, cross media pollination, trickle-down effect, and Kate Middleton. They also rely most crucially on an appetite in the culture. Predicting those appetites is a multi-million-dollar business, but it is usually pretty clear that trends are a response to the cultural landscape – the 1960s counter culture movement was a direct rebuttal of the consumerist 1950s, who in turn were joyfully rejecting the frugal post-war years of the 1940s.

Troughs in our own cultural landscape in the last few years have been staggering, even just on a superficial level. 2016 robbed us of virtually every beloved pop icon; 2017 saw the stars fall from our eyes as many of the remaining giants of the film, art, theatre and media world were exposed to be predators. Heroes became villains and villains became world leaders. With the post-apocalyptic cultural hellscape that remains in the wake of the last few years, and global instability showing no sign of being redressed, is it any wonder we’re seeking refuge in play?

Boston-based psychology coach Jenny Eden Berk predicts a huge shift towards play in the coming months. “There is a growing movement of classes that focus on games that get people moving [while] totally having fun,” she told Business Insider. “When I moved from hardcore running and spin classes to a more fun, playful, and mindful approach to movement, it changed my whole life. I look forward to exercise now. Mark my words: Play and mindful movement is the new SoulCycle.”

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To read the rest of this feature from Sophie White, check out the new issue of IMAGE Magazine, out December 29.

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