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 at the study Creative Media & Game Technologies (before that Communication & Multimedia Design). Here students learn to work with new technology like VR and AR and how to work with game engines. We educate in making games, but it does not stop at ‘just’ entertainment. With these tools plenty other applications are possible. Read more about it in our CMGT Leaflet.

8766_CMI_Arjan van Houwelingen docent en cooㄤêrdinatorESTHER QUELLE PHOTOGRAPHYkopieTopics in which I teach (facilitate learning) are game design, UX design and research, psychology. Besides that I coach, offer academic counseling and am involved in curriculum development. For the Hanze I am also one of the didactics trainer, facilitating staff in becoming certified lecturers.

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’ or ‘applied games and design games for clients, mainly together with Robert Brouwer. 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’