Cities demonstrate an inherent moderation of culture as a consequence of their embedded structure and functionality. However, the act of hosting the Olympics marks a particular deviation from a country’s cultural idiosyncrasy. In effort to assert an image of political or economic relevance, cities adopt a globalized ideology that dilutes their own culture for the sake of international comprehension. The pressure to adhere to this language, deeply rooted in the spectacles and dogmas of urbanism, inherently curbs many countries’ prospects of hosting. While those who attempt to accommodate disparate ideals often negate the promise of a functional civic legacy and the Olympic potential to evoke and showcase culture indicative of the site. However, an Olympics that privileges play and employs the existing urban fabric to foster a sense of creativity situates itself as a cultural catalyst. Such Games would provide the ability to critique the ubiquitous performance of urban life, while evoking the idiosyncrasies and fluidity of local culture.
The formation of urban culture is dictated by the mass repetition of daily social behaviors. However, this repetition only perpetuates itself; perceived progression primarily marks the accentuation of pre-existing social habits rather than any indication of genuine evolution. Consequently, a redundant and homogenous caricature of social behavior and culture paints the urban fabric’s potential in black and white, suppressing the want for ambiguity and the value of spontaneity. The element of play, performs a pivotal role in disrupting these patterns. In play, the innate obligation towards convention dissipates, along with the self-replication of urban culture. Therefore, the formation of unique and unpredictable circumstances through the vehicle of play pose to encourage meaningful and organic transformations in the physical and social interaction of the city.