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Bernie De Koven
A Celebration of the Well Played Life, 1941-2018
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Playful World: Section guide


• Bernie Tribute home

• Steven Conway on Bernie
• Excerpt: The Infinite Playground

In Honor of Blue

Without a doubt, one of the highpoints of our experience doing Streetplay was meeting Bernie DeKoven (a.k.a. Blue) a man of broad smile and big heart who made the pursuit of fun and games his spiritual path.

We met Bernie back in 2003, when he bestowed the Major Fun award on Streetplay (see note from current Major Fun Stephen Conway).  Major Fun was one of several ways Bernie might be identified.  Author, lecturer, game designer, fun theorist and probably most affectionately as the Shaman of Play are other titles by which he is known.

Bernie entered the scene as an educator and member of the "New Games Foundation," a group encouraging the creation non-competitive friendly games, many of which are now played in summer camps, theatre workshops, team building exercises, etc.  He is probably best known for authoring The Well Played Game, an easy read that explore deep questions as to why we play, what makes the game fun, how to keep it fun, and how children’s games are theater that reveal deeper aspects of humanity.

Bernie maintained his commitment to fun and playfulness throughout his life. He made a living as a game designer and reviewer, raised a family (blessed with two children and 6 grandchildren), had a 50 year + marriage with his childhood sweetheart Rosanne (Rocky) and wrote literally over 5,000 blog posts that in one way or another celebrated the healing and life affirming aspects of play.

His most recent book A Playful Path elaborates on the many different types of fun available to us in all situations. His last book The Infinite Playground will be published posthumously in 2020 by MIT press was co-written by Holly Gramazio and edited by Celia Pearce and Eric Zimmerman.

Over the course our anniversary year, we will pull out some of Bernie’s posts and highlight them on the site.  Beyond that we hope to imbue his spirit to stay on the Playful Path in our own lives.
For more information about Bernie

  • The Infinite Playground - Excerpts from upcoming book on Imagination
  • Our Playful Path – A heartfelt and insightful note from Stephen "The Spiel" – current holder of the Major Fun title about Bernie and his gift of playfulness
  • Deepfun.com – Bernie’s repository of over 5,000 posts related to fun and games and his playful approach to life
  • Streetplay’s section on Junkyard Sports - done in cooperation with Bernie around this very interesting endeavor and one of the projects where our work naturally overlapped

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