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.

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Latest Articles

Naomi and Gladys

Thanks to my growing friendship with Doug Germann, senior advocate and poet (see his footprintsinthewind), I recently found myself at the Gerontology Conference at Holy Cross College where I had at least several experiences that further kindled my dedication to my playful path. First, I had the opportunity to listen to Michael Verde, founder of Memory Bridge. He told some of the […]

absent thee from necessity awhile

Absent thy fine self from necessity awhile, say I. Not necessarily because it’s good for you or because you have to. Not necessarily on purpose, even. Accidentally is OK. Whim, impetuousness, inspiration – they work. For the fun of it, I might add. You’re walking on a path, say, in a park or the woods […]

dominoes on a flooded street
game power

Play is fun. It’s something we do for fun. When somebody asks us why we like playing something, we tell them, as clearly as we can: because it’s fun. Because if it wasn’t, we probably wouldn’t be doing it. So, let’s say you’re playing something – a game, a musical instrument – or, you’re working […]

The Well-Played Game, MIT edition
the rejection slip rejection

In 1978, when The Well-Played Game was first published, one of the few reviews it actually received, the one from Kirkus, began with the teeth-clenching, ego-shattering word “yukko.” (Here’s a link to it. I shall say no more about this at all ever.) The message I carried forward from that particular review is that sometimes it […]

The Shaman
The Oaqui Conclusions – part one

The Oaqui (“oa” is probably pronounced “wa”, “qui” is most likely pronounced “cky”, as in “wa cky”) was or were first introduced to the world through the virtual writings of the person currently identified as “The Shaman of Play” For all the S.o.P. actually claims to know about the actual identity of the Oaqui, Oaqui could […]

we never lose our playfulness

Scroll up to the top of this article. Now, take a moment to watch the expressions on the face of the woman in the white blouse, in the center of the group running towards us. This is what I see: first, a smile, but a guarded one. Next, what, concern? puzzlement? Something happens to her […]

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."

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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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