It seems like fun is all around us. And yet, when you come to think what ‘fun’ really is, or how to make things fun, it might turn out that it’s not that obvious. What is it that makes a toaster fun, or a talk fun, or a game fun?



  • morsel – a small piece or amount of food; a mouthful
  • cloying – disgusting or distasteful by reason of excess
  • tautology – the saying of the same thing twice over in different words, generally considered to be a fault of style (e.g. they arrived one after the other in succession ).
  • diversion – the action of turning something aside from its course
  • outlandish – looking or sounding bizarre or unfamiliar
  • infatuation – an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something
  • blush – show shyness, embarrassment, or shame by becoming red in the face


Think about it

Answer the questions below. Pause at times indicated in brackets.

  • What is a common misconception about fun? (1:51)
  • What is Mary Poppins’ idea of fun? (2:29)
  • What element connects games and fun? (3:35)
  • What is the connection between fun and foolishness? Where does fun originate from? (5:24)
  • In what way are manual gear shift and knitting fun? (6:24)
  • How can a boring activity be made fun? (9:17)
  • What is the connection between fun and respect?


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the correct forms of the words is CAPITAL LETTERS.

From Mary Poppins, we’ve learned that sugar helps medicine go down. The idea is that the ________ ENJOY parts of life can be rendered fun with the ________ ADD of a little sweet something extra. As game designer and ________ THEORY Ian Bogost sees it, Poppins has been peddling bunk.

At WIRED by Design, Bogost outlined his conception of fun. It’s not about ________ EFFORT enjoyment, he argues, but instead about embracing the effort demanded in a given situation. If you’re mowing your lawn, you don’t make it fun by ________ STRAP an iPad to your lawnmower. Instead, you make it fun by taking the job seriously—you see how few rows you can take to cover the whole yard, how tightly you can make the turns.


Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words. Use ONE word per blank space.

“Fun is giving respect ________ something that doesn’t deserve it,” Bogost says. “Becoming infatuated ________ something ________ which infatuation seems impossible.” If you’re unconvinced, just think ________ golf. It’s a ridiculous premise and the source of untold frustration. And yet, ________ all these centuries, we’re still going back to the links.


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