• 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. It's amazing. He did it before with new games. And now again he does it with old games. -Brian Sutton-Smith
  • 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

Bernie DeKoven

Registered Junkmaster


1075 Broad Ripple Ave
Suite 123
Indianapolis, IN46220

Bernie's book, Junkyard Sports, describes a radically new, paradigm-busting concept for athletic events. one that took him 40 years in theater, education, game design and group facilitation to develop. He calls it "Sports for the fun of it."

Bernie's lifelong belief that things can be made more fun led him to develop and implement new ways of playing, new games for groups of all ages and sizes, from singles, couples and families to schools, communities and cities, and, most recently, to the idea of "Junkyard Sports."

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, he voiced a philosophy of "healthy competition" that formed the core teachings of the New Games Foundation. He became co-director of the foundation, and has developed internationally successful programs in facilitating collaborative games, community events and business meetings.

Bernie has designed award-winning games for Ideal Toy Company, Children's Television Workshop, CBS Software and Mattel Toys.

He earned his Master's degree in theater from Villanova University where he received a Rockefeller Fellowship in playwriting.

Bernie is a lifetime member of The Association for the Study of Play and winner of the 2006 Iffni- Raynolds award from the North American Simulation and Gaming Association

Read this article about Bernie from the Nov. 12, 2004 issue of the Daily Breeze

Interviews with Bernie:

Read more about Bernie and his pioneering fun work on his DeepFUN website.
  • 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 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