Work Project

My new book THE ROLE OF PLAY is out !

My new book THE ROLE OF PLAY is out !

Role of Play investigates what new rules of play are to come, several decades after the advent of videogames. Do we need more or no rules at all, or do other rules apply? Who determines which rules we play by? Play is always under construction.

Role of Play: New Games, New Chances. A Future Perspective on Play in Society offers a refreshing take on modern game design and play. It underlines the significance of digital play for contemporary culture. 

With 400+ illustrations, the authors sketch a wide variety of examples from analogue play to video games, from digital treasure hunts to flying a plane, from waging galactic wars with aliens to designing your home, from battling cancer to behaviour change, from puzzle games to urban planning.

This book addresses the latest trends in serious games and playification, for purposes other than pure entertainment. In their free-play form, these playful interactions increasingly contain reflections on social issues such as climate change or inclusiveness.

As change is a sign of our time, the authors show how to play with the rules that underpin society and its positive outcomes. Role of Play is intended for a wider audience, including game–and social designers, policymakers, developers, and students.

“This book is dedicated to those who embrace new scenarios and alternative futures through play.” – Ben Schouten

Ben Schouten (PhD) is an artist-designer and professor emeritus of Playful Interaction at Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Industrial Design as well as lector emeritus in Play and Civic Media at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. He founded the master in digital design programme in Amsterdam and until 2020 worked as its scientific director. His research focuses on play and design for social innovations, citizen empowerment and culture. Ben Schouten develops games within the domain of health care, education and urban planning, focussing on playful empowerment and (co-)authored seven books and 100-plus publications at the intersection of play, games, participatory design and citizen empowerment.

Menno Deen (PhD) is a game designer and researcher, exploring game design in new and unexpected contexts. Amongst others, he created games in swimming pools, therapeutic sessions, and forests. By creating games with professionals, students and non-game developers, Menno builds bridges between industries, disciplines and people. He organizes meetups and showcases called Dutch Courage, connects game students through various projects and brings professionals together within the organization Games [4Diversity], fostering the inclusion of new perspectives and domains into the creative industry of game development,

Promotional photo’s: Studio Renate Boere and Jap Sam Books 

Price 30 Euro

Author Ben Schouten, Menno Deen

Project Management Ben Schouten, Andrea Mologni, Eleonoor Jap Sam

Research Team Ben Schouten, Gabriele Ferri, Menno Deen, Andrea Mologni 

Contributors Ed van Hinte, Mees Drissen, Joost Raessens, Troy Innocent, Kummargi Yulendj, Bambi Boland, Beatriz Ibeas, Genèviéve Korte, Ondrej Kocholaty, Chris Gruijters & Gijs Houdijk, Martijn Kors

Proofreading Aaron Bogart

Final Editing Eleonoor Jap Sam

Graphic design Studio Renate Boere

Number of pages 296

Book size 17 x 23 cm

Binding Softcover

Language English

Release date October 2023

Printer Graphius

Publisher Jap Sam Books

Made possible by Creative Industries Fund NL, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, and Dutch Research Council (Grant # 652.001.005)