Playfulness is a gift.

And author/fun theorist Bernard De Koven
invites you to receive it!

Welcome to A Playful Path:
The Book, the Spirit, the Experience.

Get the Book Now! (Free Download!)

Latest Articles

dogs at play
The Sense of Play

The sense of play is a sense in every sense of the word. It is a sense, like sight is a sense, like hearing, like touch. If we tried to make a list of all the things we play and play with, the list would probably be as long as a list of all the smells, […]

Forest Soccer
play everywhere

Forest Soccer via Tom Russotti, Institute for Aesthletics Games are the byproducts of play. They are not the reason we play, but rather the collection of rules and roles and goals and stuff that we come up with as we go about playing. They are what you might call “emergent properties” of play. We’re kicking a […]

House Rules

Despite our vast collection of games, we tend to play only a few, over and over again, me, my wife Rocky, and I. Right now, it’s Bananagrams, Rumi-Kub, and Scategories. Scategories? You know Scategories – the game where you pick a list of categories, roll a big, fat, heavy letter die; press the timer, and race to […]


Handland is a game that invites people to make up what the game is about and how to play it. The only instructions are: 1. Get in groups of, O, say 3 to maybe, I dunno, 8? 10? 2. Lie on your backs, in a circle, and slither towards the center until your heads are […]

The Politics of Public Playfulness (transcript)

A playful, and long time friend of mine, Stevanne Auerbach, urged me to publish a transcript of the TEDxAsheville talk I gave a few months ago. Now that I figured out how to do it (cheating only slightly), I finally followed her excellent advice. (The older I get, the more clear it is to me […]

Artists of the Playful

“It is the creative process that holds the spell, not the finished work.” writes PlayArtist Ernst Lurker. In my so-called work, I use the word “playfulness” instead. It’s not the game or toy or equipment that I find so spellbinding. It’s the way in which it gets played or played with. The more playful the […]

The entrance to your playful path is wonder.

Get inspired listening to selections from Bernie’s books and articles, and then more inspired playing games from Bernie’s huge repertoire of deeply playful games.
The Experience

Readings from A Playful Path:


Kudos, kindness and kittens!!
(just kidding, no kittens, but more reviews here →)


"This volume should really be titled A Guide to Being Human.
I recommend you read only a page or two at a time. Let it sink in. Apply it. Revel in it."

Read the full review


"Now, finally, we come to Bernard DeKoven’s new book, A Playful Path.
It is, for me at least, the best self-help book I’ve ever read."

Read the full review

Playfulness opens you. It lightens your heart

“A playful path is the shortest road to happiness.”

‐ the Oaqui

"I know that if we only let ourselves out to play we would rediscover ourselves and reunite with the world."




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