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

Ellis, game alchemist

Workshop designing games for Rio traffic-problems

07/02/2016 17:45

In november 2016 I was invited to talk at the Design week in Rio de Janeiro. This is thanks to Clarissa Biolchini and Laje, from their reference I got invited and thanks to them Brasil now knows about my existence and work in design. So in return for this invitation I offered to do a workshop designing games for a societal problem. While preparing this workshop that week in Rio I experienced the traffic very much, the same ride by taxiof approx 10 km can cost you 15 minutes or 1,5 hours depending on the time of the day, the wheather or other circumstances which are hard to predict when planning your day. Read more


about play, Alice, article, english, event, play

I don’t like violence, but this is an interesting read

31/12/2015 15:56

A battle is actually an abstract form of a feedbackloop, what action revolves in certain action/reaction, which triggers insight, learning and new actions… interactivity, challenge and a learning curve is always experienced in a battle. Read this article to learn more about battle and gameplay design: in Gamasutra: 7 combat systems that every game designer should study


about play, article, english

Education & development NVON conference

25/11/2015 11:53

Today I am talking to educators of the future on how to incorporate games & play in education.

The slides in prezi as promised can be found here >>


english, event

Talk about play in Rio

18/11/2015 20:47

I was invited to talk at the Design Week in Rio de Janeiro november 2015. The location was beautiful, the event was perfect, and the people were great. Something unexpected was the weather, my balloons were blown away very fast, which gave an extra challenge for my audience to participate in the game with the four very different rules. Read more


about play, english, event, favorite, play

How to playtest: where is the assumption killer?

16/11/2015 11:40

Please read this article, and see how hard it is to properly test your product, and even more when your product is a game!

Gamasutra: Anatomy of a Usability Test in Video Games (Part-1)
Gamasutra: UX Walkthrough: Anatomy of a Usability Test in Video Games (Part-2)

When teaching design, or consulting clients on design, I would love to have an assumption killer/alert available, so great to point out assumptions, to improve a product more and more, or make better decisions while developing a product or service.


about play, design thinking, english, play

Pure play!

15/11/2015 20:55

This artist really plays around with available materials, stone, water, gravity. See a beautiful video of his play >> called Gravity Glue by Michael Grab.

Just like my other favorite artist: Andy Goldsworthy he plays with leaves, colors, snow, stones and wood.

Read more



Create & Play your Identity – workshop ID play

14/10/2015 16:41

Some people do not have an elevator pitch prepared, to tell the most important (business) message to a person in a very limited time. It is interesting to develop one, but this very often lacks spontaneity and authenticity. An many occassions people are in a different context with a different background and want to find each other’s common ground with a goal to pursue together, but it is important to find a way to present who you are, why you are here, what you want.

On conferences this is often the case… and my friend Easkey Britton had faced this situation with the Surf + Social Good Summit in may ’15. Worldwide passionate sportive people coming together talking about the opportunaties to do Good. For this purpose I developed a “profile” Canvas, which made every individual first reflect on him and herself, and then use it as a tool to reflect on & show their identity confident and playful on many aspects. Read more


art, educational, english, play

How I became a play alchemist

04/10/2015 15:52

I am invited at the Hanze School in Groningen te present to first years game design students about being a professional game designer. My presentation is second in an interesting line up in 5 ‘shows’ organised by Arjan Terpstra from Gameclowns.

Lecture #1: Joost van Dongen (Ronimo Games)
Lecture #2: Tomas Sala (Little Chicken game company)
Lecture #3: Ellis Bartholomeus (EllisinWonderland)
Lecture #4: Angie Smets (Guerrilla Games)
Lecture #5: Tim Laning (Grendel Games)

As promised to the students, the slides in Prezi can be viewed here >> Read more


about play, Alice, english, event

To face a day or a face a day, that is the question?

21/09/2015 22:56

I attended the Quantify Self Conference Europe 2015 in Amsterdam. I love this conference concept; most attendees are not only audience but also on stage to talk about their passion for this topic to share knowledge and curiosity to the utmost.

What is so great about the QS conference is that this is not just a get-together of people with a weird obsession (Qs=numbering me ; ) or hobby only, this conference is very much about a passion for getting to know and understand who we all are, by doing experiments with the self, the most available guinea pig we have is ourselves to experiment on, and learn life with. Read more


about play, behaviorchange, english, event, favorite, QS, R&D

Has design left us?

11/09/2015 10:29

Has design really left us? Did design craftsmanship became extinct in some areas? With all user experience, service design, design thinking and empowerment of the user and customer in controlling the consumer market, we still have so many examples of very poor design unfortunately, I will not mention all the elevator buttons I have been confused and frustrated with, but I do have some nice examples; Read more


data-visualisation, design thinking, psychology, userfriendly