It can truly be said that we are made for play; after all, humans are among the very few animals that play as adults. What the evidence adds up to this is: we are most human when we play—and just because we play.
Like art, play is that quintessential experience that is almost impossible to define—because it encompasses infinite variability—but which we all recognize when we see, or experience.
But the big question is why we bother to play at all. Perhaps for this reason, adults who play appear to live longer than those who don't. This conclusion has been suggested by the Stanford University psychologist Lewis Terman in the 1920s when, to examine the lives of gifted children, a study has allowed other researchers to track the consequences of high intelligence and other psychological factors to health and longevity. In the Terman group, those still surviving are those who have played the most throughout their lives.
How we play is related, in myriad ways, to our core sense of self. Play is an exercise in self-definition; it reveals what we choose to do, not what we have to do. We not only play because we are. We play the way we are. And the ways we could be. Play is our free connection to pure possibility. [Source: Psychology Today]