Bernie DeKoven – Shaman of Play (Part 1 of 2)

Over 40 years ago I attended New Games Foundation training and became a Certified New Games Referee. Imagine my delight and honor to meet Bernie De Koven, the man who was pivotal in the New Games movement. Bernie is an amazing person whose energy and love of play have helped thousands of folks realize that play is as important for adults as it is for kids! Bernie De Koven is a “founding father of play studies,” creating the Games Preserve, the first centre for the exploration of games and play for adults, Bernie continues to this day to explore the theory of fun and playfulness and how it can affect every aspect of personal and interpersonal, community and institutional health.

In this episode Bernie shares his journey on the playful path. Just last month the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, Friends of Ellenberger Park, and Indy Parks & Recreation dedicated Bernie’s Swings Ellenberger Park, a playground in Indianapolis.

In 2014 he teamed with the improv organization ComedySportz Indianapolis to stage his interactive show Play’s the Thing
A Playful Path, his most recent work,  A Playful Path (over 640,000 downloads), and a CD Recess for the Soul. is a collection of essays from his popular blog deepFUN.
Called the “Shaman of Play,” Bernie a leading fun theorist who has shown over the course of his 45 year career how fun and playfulness lead to some of the most important trends in games today, from large scale community games to casual game apps. He is the author of The Well-Played Game (originally published by Doubleday in 1978 and reissued in 2013 by MIT Press), A Playful Path (over 640,000 downloads), and a CD Recess for the Soul. He continues to make his work publicly available through his seminars and websites: this site and A Playful Path.