play like (something)
To perform competitively in a particular type of way. This underdog team is playing like their lives depend on it—they might just pull off the impossible and win the championship! I'm usually really good at this video game, but I'm playing like trash today! For her first chess tournament, she's playing like a pro!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
play like someone or something
to pretend to be someone or a type of a person. Sam is playing like Mr. Watson, the teacher. He is playing like a teacher and helping Mary with her homework.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.