Favorite Authors

Deep Fun:
A Playful Path to Wholeness

Bernie DeKoven

A Bit About . . .

Bernie DeKoven is the author of Deep Fun: About Fun, Games and the Pursuit of Happiness, and The Well-Played Game. a book that helped to revolutionize how people play together.

Bernie worked with Mattel Media as "Dr. Fun / Staff Designer." He helped create the team and the products that lead Mattel to $200 million earnings in the first year, and to the establishment of an entirely new category of software: games for girls. He originated new game concepts, facilitated creative brainstorming meetings, and worked with the entire staff to bring more fun to work.

"Bernie probably knows more of a practical nature about how to use games in a healthy way with children, adolescents or adults than anyone I know." -Brian Sutton-Smith

As a game design consultant, he designed and directed the development of the "PlayWay" for Time-Warner's Information Superhighway venture and advised commercial and non-profit organizations interested in developing games that reflect positive social values. Realizing that there was a disturbing social trend towards high tech, and away from high touch, he also launched Loving Fun, one of a series of workshops, programs, and large group presentations focusing on the dynamics of "co-liberating" relationships directed towards a variety of audiences, including educational, business, therapeutic and religious communities.. He published the FunE-letter to support people dedicated to bringing more fun to their lives and work.

"Bernie is one of the most inspiring and ingenious teachers I know. He is also a master of his subject -- learning through play." -Herb Kohl

As senior game designer, he worked with Ideal Toy Company, Epyx, Children's Television Workshop and CBS software. At Epyx, he developed the "Mind Toys" label featuring a unique group of non-violent strategic/action games including the award-winning "Ricochet" and "Alien Garden." Working with the Children's Computer Workshop, he les the development of yet another unique collection of reasoning games ("Light Waves," "Time Bound," and "Fleet Feet") which was later purchased and distributed by CBS Software. He was contributing editor at Games Magazine and Gifted Children Newsletter.

"Life without fun is not worth much -- as many people who have achieved success and wealth at the expense of stress and depression realize. It should be easy to have fun -- yet most of us have forgotten how to play, how to invest life with enjoyment. Bernie DeKoven is the only person I know who not only knows about play, but knows how to teach it. May his efforts prosper, for they help us all." -Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Bernie developed and implemented collaborative events involving the cooperation of groups of all ages and sizes, from couples and families to schools and communities. His Interplay Curriculum, a comprehensive program in self-esteem and social skills based on over 1000 children's games, was used in classrooms and playgrounds throughout the city of Philadelphia. For the Philadelphia Bicentennial, he designed and orchestrated Playday on the Parkway, a community games event involving hundreds of thousands of celebrants. He established The Games Preserve, a retreat center in Eastern Pennsylvania where teachers, therapists and recreators could conduct in-depth investigations of games and play. In his book, The Well Played Game (Doubleday), he voiced a philosophy of "healthy competition" that formed the core teachings of the New Games Foundation. He becomes co-director of the foundation, and developed an internationally successful program in facilitating collaborative games and events. Bernie earned his Master's degree in theater from Villanova University where he received a Rockefeller Fellowship in playwriting.

Drop by Bernie's Web site Deepfun.com for a treasure trove of ideas on adding more fun to any and all of your daily activities.