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

17/04/2017 10:10

Three years ago today I did a TEDx talk, and i’ve not been able to look at the video till today! I still agree with the message: we do need to play more! I personally will try (again) to make obstacles as challenges and find better balance in life. See the talk here (it is only 8 min)

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about play, Alice, english, event, favorite, game, gamification, serious

Double plus good Play

02/04/2017 11:18

I am a huge fan of Foooty, it’s a ball to play anywhere and anytime, since it fits in your pocket.

Recently at my birthday I received a Foooty+ as a gift. Double plus clever game design, inside the Foooty is a puzzle placed… really not that easy to figure out! Plus I love the simplicity of the round transparant ball with inside a transparant cube… contrasting yet matching perfectly. Love it!


about play, braintraining, design thinking, english, favorite, play

Pac-man is alive and kicking!

18/02/2017 13:23

As most people might know by now, I am a big fan of Pacman, and often talk about pacman when trying to explain the theory of gamedesign.

Now I am happy to announce that Paladin Studios made a tribute to Pacman in their game Galaga Wars. Read more about the how and what here >>

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about play, english, pacman, play

Once i was a product designer…

31/01/2017 23:12

About 7 years ago, I “designed” this ring, to be as cheap as possible, customisable in size on the spot, sold for one euro at Queens day in Amsterdam….

Found the photo just now, and it made me think of the magic circle as a model… also born approx. 7 years ago?


english, favorite

Interesting book Game Didactics (in Dutch)

30/01/2017 21:04


Boek: Gamedidactiek, het hoe en waarom van spellen in de les.

Beknopte samenvatting

Spellen en computergames worden steeds meer ingezet in de les. Gamedidactiek legt uit wat het nut van spellen in de les is. Waarom en hoe kun je spellen inzetten in je les?


learninggames.nl >>
databankgames.nl >>
gamesvooronderwijs.nl >>
MASS project >>
leerspellen.nl >>
Center for Games & Impact >>
gameplaylearn.com >>
Science Center >>
Room Recess >>
Wise Play >>
Portmantoo >>


about play, educational

Seeing Nano project

18/01/2017 11:20

In the year 2015 and 2016 I have been advicing Hannie van den Bergh with the intriguing project of bridging an abstract concept as Nano technology is, towards a wide audience. This project was a EU collaboration of different partners from science, art and industry. And the end result where several events including the tools Hannie developed, using gameplay.

See more information here about the coalition: http://www.seeingnano.eu/

More about the toys/tools:

Nano memory – Nano profiler – Nano Origami


about play, Alice, english

Ellis was in W*india*land – part 2

12/01/2017 15:02

“Ellis was in W*india*land – part 1” can be read here

In November 2017 a group of Dutch game developers went for the GDC (game developers conference) in Hyderabad. We were invited to speak, discuss and expo different applied games from Holland. Read more


Alice, educational, english, event, game, gamification, pacman, workshop

Gamedesignthinking for impact – Workshop with schoolkids in India

24/11/2016 10:24

October 2016 I was attending the Game Conference in India for four days, and as a dessert I was invited to do a day workshop with schoolkids in Pune. A selection of 30 kids from 6 different public schools came to one school togeteher, it was a public holiday that day, to celebrate “children’s day!”.

This was an amazing day, the major was there to open the day with a ceremony and lot’s of photographers, waste experts were present to give very insightful information on the importance of waste awareness, also great inspiration for the player to be the prince and princess of her castle, and take care of their personal waste, also gamification elements were already in his speech when he mentioned that it is a personal PLUS a class effort, and if one class member would not participate, the whole class and school could fail the experiments he is doing in schools. With those thoughts in mind, we started the workshop, with Pac-man, collaboration, team play and creating an impact was centralised.

First the kids were energised with pretending to be pac-man as an exercise, secondly we played multiplayer Makey-Makey-pacman with real fruits, all boys teams competing agains an all girl team, and guess who won? (The girls played better, however they got help and assistance from the overenthousiastic boys).


Next phase was to get serious, I explained a theory on game design using Pacman as a case and the GameDesign Worksheet was introduced, the teams could not wait to create a game to explain their parents about waste management. The kids in teams developed great concepts, first on the worksheet and secondly with all the props and attributes, they created their prototype. The Judges were selected carefully by the organisation, and all teams presented their concept with great enthusiasm. It was not easy to choose the winners.

Finally all material got deconstructed and collected again for next workshops to be created, so the workshop in itself was a low waste circular economy example!

When it was lunchtime, most kids stayed working, the teachers and delegates from the different schools mentioned never to have seen these kids NOT running of from a class for lunch as fast as possible, they were deeply engaged to the development of their project -> the power of play! ; )

(The original plan was to have some games programmed online in Scratch, however time was short and the team-effort working on physical materials was sufficient at this moment, the plan B for kids who might have gotten bored to build a Supermario Waste Management level on Nintendo Wii, was also redundent in this situation)

This event was featured on tv news and several Indian newspapers:

aaj-ka-anand-pg-09-18-11-16 apla-mahanagar-pg-3-17-11-16 decosjanprawaspg-417-11-2016 decossanjwartapg-417-11-2016 yashobhumi-pg-4-17-11-16


about play, Alice, english, event, favorite, serious, workshop

Ellis in (paper) magazine crossing borders

07/11/2016 09:01

For my quantify self experience on Happy Faces I have been interviewed by the Belgium Magazine Charlie Mag. Talking about Happy… can that smile be any bigger? Read the article in full here >>charliemag


Alice, data-visualisation, english, event, favorite, QS

Workshop Sanitary Awarness Game design

04/10/2016 19:00

For the first time a hosted a game design workshop in Hanze Applied University Groningen via Skype since the train did not take me there. I was a very new experience, and I really miss the contact with the students and their work, but it worked out rather well, within 2 hours time, the team managed to create a member profiles, a persona, the team goal and a game concept to proceed with for next phase.

The slide used during the workshop can be found here >>

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Alice, english, event, workshop