The Mind of a Funsmith, an Interview with Bernie DeKoven


Bernie DeKoven, Master Funsmith and author of,, and, has over 40 years of experience with games and play for both kids and adults.  I sat down with Bernie to talk about the value of play, not only in the workplace, but in life in general.

Bernie DeKoven

Bernie DeKoven

You can listen to the interview below:


Some highlights from the talk include:

  • What it means to be a funsmith. (0:30)
  • How teaching games to adults turned into an hour of playing Duck Duck Goose. (10:27)
  • How playing games relates to our adult lives. (14:40)
  • How you can learn system dynamics from games. (21:14)
  • The value of play in the workplace. (26:43)
  • The most creative Olympics you’ll ever watch. (29:30)
  • The serious side of fun. (34:10)

A few of the resources and names Bernie referenced include:

Finally, the interview has been transcribed for those who prefer reading to listening (note: it has been edited for clarity).  You can find the transcription at:

Note: This is the first of what will hopefully be a number of interviews, called Humor Talks, with some of today’s thought leaders on the topic of humor and fun in the workplace.  You can sign-up for the Humor Newsletter to stay up-to-date with new interviews or get all future interviews via Podcast.

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • espn fan August 26, 2009, 4:57 pm

    Wow, that’s some great experience. I like the idea of Junkyard Sports–it reminds me of those Sportscenter Commercials about office sports.

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