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Category Archives: Articles

Project KOKORO – a mental health coach for teenagers

In the summer of 2015 we worked with mental health care organisation Ixta Noa on a project codenamed KOKORO, a mental health coach for teenagers and a life skills teaching tool for educators. The goal of the project was to help teenagers gain greater insight into and control over their thoughts and feeling. The idea […]

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Project KUMA – a learning and recruitment game for KLM Care Team volunteers

During the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015 we worked on a project codenamed KUMA. We helped KLM Business Campus understand and explore the potential of game-based learning for the purposes of recruiting and training KLM Care Team volunteers. Care Team supports victims and their next of kin in the case […]

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Project TEDASUKE – a self-development and self-organisation tool for volunteer children’s book readers

VoorleesExpress is a project by social innovation agency SodaProducties. Volunteers read books to children in need of extra help learning the Dutch language. The project is a huge success. It operates in 100 municipalities, employs 4000 volunteers who read 3700 families annually. In the summer of 2015 we worked with SodaProducties to develop a design […]

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‘Playful Design for Activism’ at E-Motive Day 2015

At the start of this year I was invited to demo Standing and to speak at E-Motive Day, a joining of innovative civil society organisations interested in (as they put it) North-South exchanges. In my lecture I talked about how Standing works and why it is interesting for civil society organisations (or NGOs). I also […]

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Making Camparc

This is a writeup of how we went about making Camparc, a panoramic camera ball. The story starts in July 2014 when STRP asks us to make a public space game for a ‘scene’ — one of the events leading up to their 2015 biennial. They were looking for something eye-catching, accessible to a broad […]

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Procedural Instruments Enable Powerful Ways of Making and Seeing Playable Systems

“No Man’s Sky is so big, the developers built space probes to explore it for them.” That’s from a Polygon report on what is probably the most hyped videogame of the moment. The main thing that seems to fascinate people about No Man’s Sky is its extensive use of procedural content generation (PCG). Put simply, […]

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Designing Playful Museum Exhibitions

In February of this year I went over to Reinwardt Academy to work with exhibition direction students. I was invited by Mario Jellema to share my perspective on the role of play and playfulness in museums. I enjoy talking to students, but I like working hands-on with them even more. So we turned the session […]

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Three Perspectives on Serious Games

At the end of last year I was invited to give a talk at Creative Mornings Utrecht on the theme “education”. I figured it would be a nice opportunity to share the things I’ve learned over the past 5+ years of practicing applied game design. I tried to connect a wide range of sources with […]

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Highlights from Play Matters

In my review of Play Matters I talked about why I think it is a must-read for any designer. I thought I’d follow that up with some highlights from the book. These are mostly from the first two chapters. Miguel first talks about what play is. He offers a minimal definition which states that play […]

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Engagement loops are the best way to motivate people using game mechanics

It has been a pleasure to see our associate Sebastian Deterding’s thinking evolve through his presentations over the years. It has been a treat to read every new deck and to follow his reasoning in detail. You can also trace a very distinct line about games, user experience, psychology and ethics that has become more […]

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