Magic Circle of Play

One thing that I really like about teaching at Playful Interactions, TU/e is that I have the chance to meet and discuss with other coaches, who are a group of  inspiring  practitioners with different expertise and a playful mindset : )

Ellis Bartholomeus is one of them. She is an applied game consultant, and a game design thinker (I really liked the term).

I had the chance to watch Ellis Bartholomeus’s  workshop at IxDA’14 conference in Amsterdam.

Quite inspiring!

Few weeks ago we had a talk with her over what she does, and over my study. It was interesting to both of us to see whether some game and play principles be applied in  the workshop process.

Multi-disciplinary design workshops are interesting settings: people who speak different languages come together and try to communicate, and collaborate. It is not an easy thing to find a common ground for discussion and negotiation. Conflicts are almost inevitable. Besides, people come to workshops to think differently, to get inspired and to have fun.  I repeatedly observe how important it is to give the workshop participants a creative mindset and mood during the workshop to make them more comfortable and productive. I was repeatedly asking to myself, how could we engage the people in the process to provide a better experience?

Applying game principles and elements into the process and inviting them into the “magic circle”of play can be a way to a more engaging process.

That is one of the reasons that I proposed the Business Unusual project in the TU/e Playful Interactions theme. We have a nice group of students who are willing to explore the intersection of design and business, with a playful angle. And I am quite enthusiastic about exploring the possibilities together with them.

Ellis gave her workshop to the students past week. As a follower of her blog, I found the presentation 😉

I am curious about how the students will apply it to their designs.

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