Think Design Play, 5th DiGRA conference
hosted by Utrecht School of the Arts

Playing Well Together
keynote by Bernie DeKoven
(17 september 2011)

Bernie DeKoven ( is a fun theorist, game designer and workshop facilitator. In his book, The Well Played Game, he voiced a philosophy of "healthy competition" that formed the core teachings of the New Games Foundation.

No matter what kind of game you're talking about, there is a core experience, beyond the design and technology of the game that makes the game worth playing. You can observe this experience in almost any game, from a children's game like hide and seek to a professional sport like basketball. In general, it's the experience of participating in a functioning community of players. Specifically, sharing the experience of playing well.

Bernie DeKoven will be addressing a small revolution in play that began in the 70s with the advent of the New Games Foundation and continues today in games like World of Warcraft. He plans on raising some questions, some hopes, some aspirations, and some eyebrows: "My hope is to encourage you in the development of new areas of research and practice that will explore the relationships between the player and the community of players, between the player as participant and the player as designer, between the spirit of competition and the spirit of the game. And maybe to play a game or two - for, you know, fun."

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