Meaning of "play"

When Vishnu is described in the Vishnu Sutra as playing, play refers to a process of interaction with reality that encompasses exploration and athleticism, or sporting - but also extending to the theatrical or dramatic sense of the word.  In this sense, the joy all beings experience in play is understood to extend to non-beings, who assume Avatara as the means by which to interact with reality.  Play is also the very best means by which we may come to understand the Dharma.