In Homo Ludens, Johan Huizinga defines play as the central activity in flourishing societies. He identifies five characteristics of play: it is free; it is not “ordinary”. In D.P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.), Play from birth to twelve: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings Homo Ludens: A study of the play - element in culture. In Homo Ludens, the classic evaluation of play that has become a "must-read" for those in game design, Dutch philosopher Johan Huizinga defines play as the.