photoa-nl_150602_21068After getting my Masters degree in Psychology, I worked as an organisational psychologist and coach for several years. Besides that formal study, I started my education in games at the age of 4 🙂

After being a gamer for many years I started designing tabletop games and study that field as well. At the moment the field of psychology and game design come together in my current position as a lecturer at the Hanze Applied University (Communication & Multimedia Design). Here students learn how to make creative digital interactive products like apps, websites and games. At the international major Game Design students experiment in making games that are fun and harness the power of engagement to create applied games that have the potential to improve our world.

8766_CMI_Arjan van Houwelingen docent en cooㄤêrdinatorESTHER QUELLE PHOTOGRAPHYkopieTopics in which I teach (facilitate learning) are game design, UX, doing research, psychology. Besides that I do project coaching, academic counseling and coordinate part of the programme.

Concerning tabletop games,  I like games that are social, have interaction, have an engaging theme and contain some randomness and variability to keep it interesting. I focus on games that are playable by a broad audience and are not overstaying their welcome. And I love cards as a medium for games.


In 2015 I founded the Spellenmaakgilde, a game makers’ guild that facilitates playtesting by tabletop game designers in the northern part of the Netherlands and sharing expertise. It is open for anyone interested in playing games or having their prototype tested. Over the years we have expanded to multiple testing locations, organise avenues on conventions for game designers and I started doing interviews with professionals in the tabletop industry to offer more insights. For more information check out the website:

At the moment I am focussed om getting more tabletop prototypes published and work on ‘serious’ games. Games that combine play with a more serious goal. Occasionally I blog about my work, games and game design.

Game on!



Photo on top, by Arjen Zijlstra 2017 as part of interview with ‘Gezinsbode’