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Obituary: Play research pioneer Brian Sutton-Smith

The influential educator and researcher, often cited by those doing work in the field of play, passed away at the age of 90 late last week.

Brian Sutton-Smith, a major contributor to the study of play and a pioneer in researching it -- and author of 50 books and 350 scholarly articles -- passed away due to complications from Alzheimer's disease this past Saturday, aged 90.

Sutton-Smith had most recently held a 17-year professorship at the University of Pennsylvania; he remained Professor Emeritus at that institution until is death.

Sutton-Smith is influential and has been widely cited. One notable example (found here on Gamasutra) is Jane McGonigal's popular book Reality is Broken.

Sutton-Smith's papers and library make up much of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at the The Strong National Museum of play, in Rochester, New York. The institution calls him "America’s foremost play scholar."

You can find a much more detailed obituary at Valley News; Johann Sebastian Joust developer Douglas Wilson tweeted a book recommendation in response to the news, calling Sutton-Smith's The Ambiguity of Play his top recommendation for a "scholarly book on play/games."

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