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

Ellis, play alchemist

a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex en Ambiguous Workshop on play

27/10/2018 12:36

Together with 11 managers we developed in teams three game concepts on wicked problems that require a clever solution… at the VUCA Academy a Master in Managing Information & Sustainable Change (MISC) at the Radboud University. VUCA stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex en Ambiguous, so how other then a playful method to collaborate on the wickedness of these topics? Great work done, trying to go from topdown to a bottom up approach and play-test each others assumptions to make steps towards a feasible, desirable and achievable result. Oh yes, and having fun while doing so ; P

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apply play, article, design thinking, english, workshop


24/10/2018 22:40

Very proud to play a part in Ina Smittenberg’s book: Organitopia with the topic of applying play. I love Ina’s approch of three angle’s to make a change how we can make a change, although not at all easy to translate to English 1 “het goede” = good 2 “het ware” = true 3 “het schone” = beauty. Let us all persuade her to have it translated soon, since there is so much value in this approach!

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book, english, play

Record week in 9 days 7 full day conference!

18/10/2018 11:51

This week in october, I was dealing – within a nine day span –  7 conference days (including one full Designathon day) with 7 times a performance on stage!!! I was worried and stressed (many might not know, but I used to have stagefright severly some years ago)…. this time I managed to have a lot of fun playing around with the topics of play with the audience. Biggest challenge was inviting people to play, while ‘starving’ for lunch and drinks at the NRC Live’s The Future of Education program, but the mouse did manage to find the cheese, so we did manage to collaborate, even though many were getting up, extra applaus for that audience! The other events were the Games for Health Europe and THNK FSTVL. I learned so many condensed lessons, and had interesting talks, now I need to relax and recharge (plus contemplate)


Alice, apply play, english, event, favorite

Ethics in design (and life)

02/10/2018 15:30

While developing (digital) tools or products for people to use, we always encounter ethic matters and questions to address, we often try to think we can avoid these, and leave these matters to “common sense” however we play a role when we build products… and to be honest, I personally love the thinking process on these topics when we try to innovate, solve a problem, or make a change with new concepts. Thinking of life as a system, looking at peoples behaviour as patterns, and providing people with a dilemma, is what we do in game design a lot.

Via a workshop I was asked in teams to make decisions together in the moral machine… a truly interesting experience to learn more about the person sitting next to you, who you just met, or the person you thought to have known for years… we had to decide one option together, and then see what morals do: The moral machine on machine learning 


apply play, behaviorchange, data-visualisation, english, favorite

as Published in Dutch Newspaper! “Addicted to learning”

24/09/2018 10:54

Since I was invited to be part of the program on the NRC Live event on the future of Education in octobre, I was asked to write an opinion piece on applying play in education for the Dutch Newspaper NRC, the title of the article is: “Addicted to learning” to explore the existing current worries on game addiction and how to trigger intrinsic motivation. With special thanks to Warchild and SamSam.net.

See the original published  artikel here: https://nrclive.nl/nieuws/>>

Or for future preservation (in Dutch): Read more


Alice, apply play, educational, favorite

Apply Play book tour – Visiting Iran at the TGC

10/09/2018 10:49

This summer I was invited as speaker to talk about Applying Play at the TGC, the Theran Game Convention. I was not sure what to expect in advance, but was amazed with the curiosity and welcoming atmosphere I encountered.  Read more


Alice, apply play, english, event

Cultural attacheés and diplomats creating games

27/07/2018 20:06

[photography by Bram Belloni] At the New Instituut in Rotterdam together with Dutch Culture we collaborated with a group cultural attachés from Russia, Egypt, Morocco and Turkey to discover together each others commons issues and possible new solutions. In a game concept design workshop, they:

  1. described their individual backgrounds, including dreams and nightmares
  2. mapped together these team nightmare and dreams
  3. translated this map to opportunities and obstacles
  4. defined their common team goal and roles
  5. created a game concept as solution
  6. created a prototype plus presentation

And off course one team won the Award of best team result for today, however all team performed amazingly well, plus gathered great insights on the divers topics.

For me personally best reward at the end of the reflection the quote by one of the participants: “You game designers should understand how much there is to be learned about strategising and playing the game truly, from us diplomats!” – I can not agree more, and am happy to share this playful lens in life more.

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apply play, english, workshop

Turncamp festival, who are you, what do you need, and what do you bring?

20/05/2018 11:32

The Turnclub as the aspirations to turn things around via Art.

“Therefore, in navigating a complex world, we need to be intuitive, creative, imaginative, innovative, flexible, and able to respond quickly to what is happening in the moment. Instead of having all of the answers, we learn to be comfortable in the “not knowing.” It helps to be able to see beyond the surface – to perceive beyond the obvious.”
– Alan Seale

At the festival in a beatifull location in Utrecht, Merlijn Twaalfhoven asked me to think of a creative activity plus solution to make people connect with their answers and questions, so we created a wishwall, everyone was invited to write a bit about himself, his context, his ASK and his favorite way of turning. Attached an envelop to collect all aswers and business cards for future continuation together…. 85% of participants of the festival participated to the wall.



english, event, favorite

to solve plastic waste • in Turkey

17/05/2018 19:19

To teach design thinking and other 21 th century skills I was invited to do a workshop (similar as we did a workshop in Pune – India last year) at Bilkent Laboratory and International School (Blis) in Ankara Turkey.

In preperation to this workshop, we first gave exactly the same workshop to the teachers of the school on their yearly education day as one of the courses provided. These teachers have different nationalities but very similar passion about teaching kids plus best of all: a critical thinking attitude. So afternmaking them design a game concept plus prototype as a solution to create waste awareness. They asked good question about the process and end-results and the matters around playing. Read more


Alice, apply play, english, event, workshop

Book launch Apply Play to get ahead of the game

22/04/2018 22:01

This friday april 20th was finally the booklaunch of Apply Play • to get ahead of the game.

I want to thank THNK Academy for providing me this location, in the modules, with my THNK class #5 participants, the idea of writing a book on gamedesign was planted, and now almost three years later…. it is DONE.

With the supergreat help of Darcie Goodwin, my super reader-helpers, and finally Rick Verhoog who managed to make it a beautifull product, and off-course the printers: Chapo.team it was a super evening with many personal plus business connections present. Read more


Alice, apply play, english, favorite, play, serious