Meet the team

The PlayReal team is a group of people with diverse backgrounds and experience, but with one strong belief: that creativity knows no limits. And that through cooperation and play beautiful things can be achieved.


PlayReal brings together concept developers, strategists, anthropologists, writers, researchers, educators, developers, designers, film directors, actors and social design experts, most of them who have been working as a team in Ahead of the Game for over 5 years.

Initiative and Development

Claudia Rodriguez Ortiz
Claudia’s background is in Engineering. At MIT she developed autonomous vehicles for environmental exploration. She was a Scholar at the Ecole Polytechnique Center for Research in Management in Paris before becoming a consultant in New Product Development and Innovation. She co-founded Volantia, an AI-based information-extraction software company, in 2000. Then in 2002 Claudia created Continea, an active network of sustainability consultants. She is the co-founder of Ahead of the Game, a developer of cutting-edge games which won the Spinawards in 2005 for most Innovative Gaming Concept.

Claudia has over 18 years of experience working on environmental systems, intelligent platforms, strategy, communication, sustainability, games and social media across 10 countries.

PlayReal is at the nexus of all her diverse activities and previous experience: games that create strategies for a sustainable planet using innovative platforms and tools to enhance the gaming experience and facilitate collective intelligence. She is a researcher and public speaker on Games for Social Change and a true believer that collaborative play can save the world.

Alex de Jong

Alex de Jong is a photographer and digital artist but also graduated from the School of Oriental and Asian Studies in London. He then went on to apply his knowledge of South Asian languages and cultures to streamlining product introductions for mobile telephony operators. As a strategist he scoped out what being online could mean for companies ranging from the Hilton Group to British Telecom.

For a while he worked as a researcher for the BT Futures Group and helped develop a virtual environment for call centre agents that was then (in 1999) at the forefront of digital presence and social collaboration online.

With Minne Belger he founded Cellspace in 2004 as an exercise in how art can inform a company’s “voice”. As a consultant he worked on implementing social media appplications in corporations and was on the editorial board of Dutch trendwatching magazine “Eye”. In cooperation with Minne Belger, he developed “liveonline”, a project that was launched with a bang at SIME 2007, in Stockholm. Liveonline seeks to explore ways in which humans can gain digital immortality through the use of technology.

Currently he is developing multi media, sensory art installations, of which the latest, “Longing For Sight” was exhibited in the Musee des Arts Contemporains in Geneva, in 2010.

Minne Belger

Minne’s background ranges from drama school to conceptual developer, creative director and digital artist. He is at the forefront of combined online/offline/mobile  experiences, developing concepts like PhotoGotcha and founding the company Questaway.

His extensive client list boasts some of the biggest names in online architecture and design. Creator of concepts such as the Nokia Game, Lifetree and a host of online solutions for companies like Endemol International, SBS Net, MTV, Interpay, TPG Post, 180 advertising, Heineken and budding internet start-ups.

Among his concepts are “Scatter Crystals” and “Mobile Playgrounds”, which pioneered the notion of using transportable multimedia workspaces. He is co-creator of “liveonline” which conceived the concept of digital immortality. He is an avid gamer for over 15 years and a conceptual developer and producer of multiple games.

Development partner:
The Beach / Diana Krabbendam

Diana is a social designer and cultural entrepreneur and lives and works in Amsterdam.
She was trained as a graphic designer at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht (HKU) and worked as a designer and creative director for profit and non-profit clients with design agencies KejaDonia and TBWA. She was international design director at Randstad, editor-in-chief at design magazine Items. In 2006 she was co-founder of The Beach, network organisation for creative innovation.
Experience & qualities:
Connecting creative industries and organisations in need for development and innovation.
Vision development and cultural programming by debate and reflection.
Creating infrastructure for networks of creative professionals and business partners.
Keywords are: crossovers, collaboration, sharing, co-creation, pro-am.

Development team:

Marcus Aurelius Veenhuysen Scharff (copy)

Marcus Aurelius studied scriptwriting and directing at Dutch Film Academy. He is senior copywriter and scriptwriter at Amour Fou/Propre. He has been editor and journalist at various financial-economic titles. He is a Corporate Storyteller and a fiction writer.

Pablo Garcia (story)

Pablo Garcia Loaeza holds a Ph.D in Spanish from Indiana University. His area of research is colonial Latin American Literature, especially historical narratives from New Spain. Currently he teaches language and literature at West Virginia University. He is fan of role-playing games (both pen-and-paper and video) and likes to read fantasy and science fiction. He also practices Tai Ji Quan and enjoys cooking.

Marianne Habermann (teacher, in-class sessions support)
Marianne joins our team from Los Angeles, CA where she taught middle school math and science after completing her Masters degree in Education.  Prior to her teaching career, she worked in Management, Human Resources and Labor Relations at a major US airline, in addition to several years as a social worker for adults with cerebral palsy and brain injuries. Marianne is passionate about people and passionate about education.

Joost Burger (developer)

ir Joost Burger(1966) completed his Masters of Science at the Technical University Eindhoven in 1992. In 1999 he started the company i-b-o-o, which develops tools based on open source internet technology to support the flow of information.

310k: Paul Rickus and Ivo Schmetz (design)

Paul and Ivo enjoy working with different media (web, video, sound and print) and if possible they try to combine them in a project. It is the mix of making music and video, performing as vj’s, doing graphic design projects and organising events that keeps them happy and sharp. A big chunk of the projects they work on are self initiated. It’s their way to experiment with things.

Casper Oorthuys (real-life event concept/production) 20 years ago, Casper founded Monsterverbond, an outdoor location theatre group who designs and builds all creative aspects for outdoor theatre performances (story, characters, spaces). Casper also creates theatrical elements of large events (such as Sensation), and is the artistic director of “Dance for Life” – teenage awareness project to learn about AIDS.

Niels Leslie-Pringle (film director and editor) Niels finished Art Academy in 1991 and worked in LA for a few years. A creative and versatile mind, stuck in body of Dutch realism and American professionalism, Niels knows the ins and outs of audiovisual production on any level.

Roderic Evans-Knaup (1971) is a cross-media concept developer with a strong telecoms and ICT background. With the PlayReal team Roderic has developed several commercial Alternate Reality Games (ARG), as well as the pilot for the Dheghom game. In 2005 he was the co-developer of the ARG for international party promotor ID&T, that won the first Spin Award for games, together with Ahead of the Game.

Partner company:
Satori Strategy/ Adriaan Wagenaar, author of book “Children on Management”, he has worked on scenarios for children solving problems for the United Nations as well as commercial enterprises.

Contact:

play<at> playreal <dot> org

+31 646 11 2000

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In a Nutshell

PlayReal is a massive multiplayer online and offline game (MMOOG). The first of its kind, and with just as unique a goal. To help create solutions for a sustainable planet.

How? By helping young gamers think in that direction while using their typical digital skills. And then translate that to the outside world. By doing so on a global scale we aim for the new generations to come up with new solutions. Both online and offline.
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Why we do it

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

Children solve problems while playing. And without thinking twice. It’s in their nature to keep trying until things work out. We want to tap into that energy, and help them to use that capability. They are the carriers of future ideas and solutions. PlayReal aims to support them by building these, through playing. And create a new way of thinking in doing so.
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Next Phases

We recently completed the experimental Phase of the project. We are now working on the next two Phases.

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Who does it benefit

“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I might remember, involve me and I will understand.”
Chinese proverb

PlayReal offers great benefits for children, organisations and schools.

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PlayReal for Organisations

We begin by framing the organisation’s need, which could be to communicate a message, come up with ideas for new products, think of new strategies, etc. Then we develop a story and characters that reflect this need.

We create adventures that invite players to come up with solutions. From the organisation’s knowledge, values and resources, we create a game character (Intergalactic Counsellor).

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PlayReal for Schools

We begin by framing the educational outcome. Then we weave the educational content into a story. We create adventures that invite players to think creatively, work collaboratively and come up with solutions to real-world problems.

We seek for organisations that provide knowledge, values and resources in the given theme and create a character for them (Intergalactic Counsellor).

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Intergalactic Counsellors

PlayReal drives on participation from organisations providing knowledge on specific areas. That can be farming, engineering, architecture, biology or water management, for example. Together with the players they help create local solutions for the challenges being presented.

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