Ellis on playful living: "this is my personal library of what I've learnt so far while I'm still mischievously exploring..."

Ellis, applied game consultancy

Workshop Gamedesign

25/09/2014 10:07

I was invited to give a workshop at the Major Game Design and Development at Hanze Hogeschool in Groningen. 16 international students working together in teams to develop serious games for children in Africa, Butterfly works is involved as stakeholder (they developed and implemented a water awarnes game  GetH2o in several countries in Africa). The students used the canvas and developed three game concepts within 10 minutes, worked on the magic game circle and had many great questions about balancing the understanding of the definition of game and/or play. Balancing challenge and accessibility in design.
(half way my presentation a student asked: “is this about the magic circle?” I could not be more happy) I love doing workshops!


educatief, english, evenement, magic circle

Retro game design workshop

22/09/2014 12:13

The Media Instituut ‘Beeld & Geluid’ hosted a Retrogames festival, and we were invited to do a Retro Game Design Workshop to a class of children at the age of 12 years old, including teachers and parents to co-create games.

They team-played pacman with makey-makey, learned about game design, experimented with gamemaker and programming games, created props and characters in clay and lego and did amazing presentations. One team included their teacher as a character in their game, including the class (choas) dynamics problems as a challenge inside their game. The team which made a analog board game combined with a digital game and presented this in a theatrical playful way and were strong winners. But the talent made a huge impression on me (I worry about my future as a game designer ; ) (see more pictures here)

Read more


educatief, english, evenement

Workshop “Dissecting a classic game” at Sumerschool UU2014

18/08/2014 13:35

More info on the Summerschool: Gamesandplay

Description of the workshop: “A hands-on workshop with post-its and markers for all participants to participate on how to taste and ‘cook’ a game. In this workshop, we will use a model to dissect an old known game such as Pacman and learn what are (the) game elements and how can we open the perspective and focus on a game experience in the context of play instead of taking the mechanics and dynamics only into account. What can we learn about player types and play preferences using the model and how can we validate a game by focussing on the game elements without deconstructing/destroying the overall gameplay.”

And as promised for the participants the Prezi-slides >>

Plus direct link to Game element table and Pacman dissection experiment #1


(results from the workshop by participants will soon be available here too)

Read more


english, evenement, magic circle, over gamen, pacman

Let’s talk about pain

14/07/2014 12:55

I found an old magazine (mind.scientificamerican.com)with a very interesting article on pain.

“We are more often frightened then hurt: and we suffer more from imagination then reality”  by Lucius Annaeus Seneca Read more


Alice, article, behaviorchange, english, psychologie

Wordfeud saving lives?

10/07/2014 12:16

Two older women in the train were talking with each other when I heard: “she said she was only able to cope with it thanks to Wordfeud!”. So I asked what and how. They told me a friend last her grandchild first and later her daughter, they both agreed this is NOT possible in life to have to deal with, but their friend had to cope, and managed by finding the needed distraction in Wordfeud. Read more


Alice, english, favoriet

Bewonderment at THNK academy

08/07/2014 22:07

January 2014 I became participant of class #5 at THNK (and enjoying every minute)

An article was placed in the Financial (Dutch)Newspaper May 31st: 




article, design thinking, english

Gaming Workshops for ±130 tech teachers Scalda

27/05/2014 15:35

I was invited to give five workshops to teachers at a technical MBO about gaming and introducing play in their lessons.
For me this was a wonderfull experience to find myself in a very different domain (again) with very different questions and attitudes about education and play. Always adventures in Wonderland!


educatief, english, evenement

When I grow up, I wish to become a Game Alchemist

24/05/2014 11:57

I studied Industrial Design, became graphic designer, the webdesigner and via interaction design a serious game designer, then an attempt to make it applied game designer, but I experienced a lot semantic discussion on these terms in play. When I became a researcher (only a hort time) the confusion on the topic games and play become much bigger instead of smaller. I tried as Game Design Thinker and Motivation designer, someone (not just someone!) called me a behavior economist.

Now… I believe I wish to become a Game Alchemist….

[Wiki]  Alchemy differs significantly from modern science in its inclusion of Hermetic principles and practices related tomythologymagicreligion, and spirituality. It is recognized as a protoscience that contributed to the development of modern chemistry and medicine. Alchemists developed a structure of basic laboratory techniques, theory, terminology, and experimental method, some of which are still in use today.


Quotes About Play & Learning (which I stole/quote from childsplaymagazine.com)

“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce (author)

Read more


Alice, art, english, favoriet

Nice podcast: Eric Zimmerman interview

19/05/2014 14:56

And he mentions the Magic Circle! On Ludology >>

Ryan and Geoff are pleased to welcome back Eric Zimmerman, professor at NYU’s Game Center and author of The Rules of Play. This episode we discuss the concept of the “magic circle” and how designers can foster and benefit from it.

Duration: 01:24:56

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_79.mp3 


english, game, magic circle, over gamen

Aging: how to do it: at 95 athlete

23/04/2014 08:44

Found via this article by Adam Johnson: “Braintraining, curiosity and aging” he writes about the importance of mental health, in relation to physicall health. A quote: “The relationship between mental health and a spirit of learning suggests that age is as much a state of mind as a tally of years lived.

Olga Kotelka sports active at the age of 95 and mentions playing Sudoku is equally important as exercising daily. Read more about her here and see an interview.


article, braintraining, english, ouderen, over gamen, zorg