To start with, Playing and Reality is not a book focusing on the concept of play. D. W. Winnicott, a paediatrician and psychoanalyst, shapes his theory of developmental psychology around transitional objects and phenomena between the subjective world of the individual and the objective world outside. The significance of playing for his theory (or vice versa) lies in the interstate nature of play. He adds that what he says for playing children is equally applicable to the playing adults. Still, the book mainly dwells on the transition from the inner world of the child towards the outside world.
Looking rather from the perspective of adults, on the other hand, we may think a further potentiality: can play open the doors also in the opposite way, from the objective world, which is set to dissolve the inner, to the latter? So that we could, perhaps, regain our strength to reshape the objective world, with other players.
What are the origins of creativity and how can we develop it - whether within ourselves or in others? Not only does Playing and Reality address these questions, it also tackles many more that surround the fundamental issue of the individual self and its relationship with the outside world. In this landmark book of twentieth-century psychology, Winnicott shows the reader how, through the attentive nurturing of creativity from the earliest years, every individual has the opportunity to enjoy a rich and rewarding cultural life.