Let's Play!

This site is about games - not just any games - just the games you play for fun. In the process of growing up, most people lose touch with the sources of their personal power. Fun is one of those sources - especially when it is deep: whole-hearted, whole-minded, whole-bodied.

Because, when the fun gets deep enough, it can heal the world.

What's Fun

eric and bernie

Discussing The Well-Played Game at IndieCade (2012)


I think of games as social fictions, performances, like works of art, which exist only as long as they are continuously created. They are not intended to replace reality but to suspend consequences. They are not life. If anything, they are bigger than life. At the same time, they are works of art, they do…


of play and health


Playfulness is one of the signs scientists look for when trying to determine the health of a herd of animals. The healthier the animals and the safer the herd, the more they play. The same is true of the human herd. Especially herds of children. As long as the kids are healthy and feeling safe,…


Interview with myself


In the just-released issue of the American Journal of Play, an 18-page interview with me. They write: In this interview, DeKoven talks about the virtues of playful play and discusses the roots of playfulness, the power of shared imagination, the joys of performing, the difference between schooling and learning, the perils of play deprivation, and…

wpg cover

The Well-Played Game reviewed by Gonzalo Frasca in the Games Studies Journal


“If you have not read it, read it. If you already have, browse it and you will almost certainly find small details and aspects of play and games that you already knew but failed to take into account.” Gonzalo Frasca Game Studies Journal “… It is a blessing that this book was written before videogames…

My TEDx Talk

My TEDx Talk


We don’t really have to teach people how to be playful. We don’t have to explain to them the therapeutic opportunities that avail themselves if they would only be playful more. We don’t have to connect it to any spiritual movement. All we have to do is give them the chance and behold: they just…


Adults: Please do not assist children!


The surprisingly playful, erudite and energetic Gwen Gordon and I arranged to meet each other at the Adventure Playground in Berkeley, CA. We were both moved one step closer to heaven by the sight of all those children at play: building, painting, imagining worlds, rolling down hill in tubes, zipping down the zip line. And…

We are particularly interested in one kind of fun – the playful kind, the kind of playful that makes us laugh together. Because in laughing together we are sharing the wonder of the fun we create, the love we manifest, the mind-body-soul-deep wellness we share, the momentary lowering of the divisions that separate us.

“To play is to be the bridge between mastery and mystery, chaos and control, the foolishly brave and the bravely foolish.”

– the Oaqui

Bernard De Koven

Bernard De Koven, author of The Well-Played Game and A Playful Path, describes and illustrates the power of adult playfulness, engaging the audience in several of his more playful games, and demonstrating how joyfully adults welcome the opportunity to expose their playful selves. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Fun Is Easy

It’s wherever you are, in whatever you are doing or sensing or thinking. It’s between you and the person you’re with or the machine you’re using or the table you’re sitting at or the path you’re walking down. It’s not something to strive for. But something to melt into, to sink into, to open up to. Listen. You can almost hear the laughter. Breathe. You can almost taste the joy. Listen a little more closely. Breathe a little more deeply. And there it is again. Fun. Real fun. Deep, forever fun.

Fun isn’t the hard thing. The hard thing is remembering to have it ...