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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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