We’re excited to co-present a special session along with the 2020 IndieCade Anywhere and Everywhere Festival to celebrate the release of The Infinite Playground. Join the co-author, Holly Gramazio, with editors Celia Pearce and Eric Zimmerman, and moderator Tracy Fullerton to discuss the unique journey of completing this book, the life and legacy of the book’s author, Bernie DeKoven, and, of course, play.

The Infinite Playground is a play-centered invitation to experience the power and delight unlocked by imagination. The book is available now here.

Bernard De Koven (1941–2018) was a pioneering designer of games and theorist of fun. He studied games long before the field of game studies existed. For De Koven, games could not be reduced to artifacts and rules; they were about a sense of transcendent fun. This book, his last, is about the imagination: the imagination as a playground, a possibility space, and a gateway to wonder. The Infinite Playground extends a play-centered invitation to experience the power and delight unlocked by imagination. It offers a curriculum for playful learning.

Holly Gramazio is a writer, curator and game designer. She’s curated events including Now Play This, a festival of experimental game design, and the Hide&Seek Sandpit, a night for artist and game designers to try out new physical game ideas. As part of Matheson Marcault she’s designed games including Art Deck, a collaborative drawing game, and One Easy Step, a playable installation transforming the Quad at King’s College London with patterns and mirrors. Her recent writing includes working with Bernie De Koven to complete “The Infinite Playground”; writing the videogame “Dicey Dungeons”; and “How To Play”, a series of wide-ranging essays for Wellcome Collection looking at play in different physical contexts.

Celia Pearce is a game designer, artist, author, curator, teacher, and researcher specializing in multiplayer gaming and virtual worlds, independent, art, and alternative game genres, as well as games and gender. She currently holds a position as Associate Professor of Game Design at Northeastern University in Boston, and is the co-founder and Festival Chair of IndieCade, an international independent game festival and showcase series. Dr. Pearce began designing interactive attractions and exhibitions in 1983, and has held academic appointments since 1998. Her game designs include the award-winning virtual reality attraction Virtual Adventures(for Iwerks and Evans & Sutherland) and the Purple Moon Friendship Adventure Cards for Girls.

Eric Zimmerman is a faculty member of the NYU Game Center and an award-winning game designer who has been inventing play on and off the computer for more than 25 years. Eric was the Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer of Gamelab, a game development company based in New York City. Gamelab’s titles included the casual game blockbuster Diner Dash and Gamestar Mechanic, a site that lets kids create games, which was funded by the first major game-related grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Gamelab worked with partners including LEGO, HBO, VH-1, Nickelodeon, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Disney, Mattel, PlayFirst, PBS, Fisher-Price, Leapfrog, and many others.

Tracy Fullerton, M.F.A. is an experimental game designer, professor and director emeritus of the USC Games program. Her research center, the Game Innovation Lab, has produced several influential independent games, including Cloud, flOw, Darfur is Dying, The Night Journey, with artist Bill Viola and Walden, a game, a simulation of Henry David Thoreau’s experiment at Walden Pond which was named “Game of the Year” at Games for Change 2017 and “Developer Choice” at IndieCade 2017. Tracy is the author of “Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games,” a design textbook used at game programs worldwide, and holder of the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair in Interactive Entertainment.

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