News from the Department

Transformative Play Initiative Roundtable -- Spring 2022


watercolor image with name of event and panelists

Join us for our next roundtable in the Transformative Play Initiative Event Series, this time with Lauri Lukka, John Stavropoulos, Elektra Diakolambrianou, Yeonsoo Julian Kim, and Katrin Geneuss!

When: Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 7:00 – 8:30 pm CEST (Central European Summer Time).
Where: Online on Zoom

Register at this link.
RSVP at this link.


In the Spring 2022 roundtable, we combine the five speakers from this semester together into a panel to get to know more about them and their take on transformative play.

After hearing:

  • Lauri Lukka talk about designing events for intensity and personal growth;
  • John Stavropoulos talk about designing a culture of safety in games;
  • Elektra Diakolambrianou talk about psychotherapy and larp;
  • Yeonsoo Julian Kim talk about horror as a vehicle for healing and transformative play; and
  • Katrin Geneuss talk about best practices for edu-larp in formal didactic contexts…

…we are now bringing them together to explore transformative play in the past, present, and future.

Moderated by: Josefin Westborg

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Presenters bios:
Lauri Lukka is a licensed psychologist and a designer. As a psychologist, he has focused on clinical psychology and therapeutic interventions. As a designer, he has written several freeform scenarios and papers on the intersection of psychology and games. Currently, he works as a senior service designer in an IT and strategy consultancy and writes his PhD in Aalto University on game-based digital therapeutics.

John Stavropoulos is a proven design leader with 20+ years experience creating experiences for games, governments, sports, and museums. Notable clients include David Bowie, the Museum of Modern Art, the NY Yankees, and NASA. Stavropoulos' game design focuses on growing psychological safety and diversity, equity, and inclusion. His work appears in hundreds of products including Dungeons & Dragons, Critical Role, Nike, and the History Channel. He has also taught design at the Museum of Moving Image and NYU. Stavropoulos' designs have won awards from Gen Con, UX Magazine, and Code for America. At every company he has worked for, he has implemented systemic change to increase DEI hiring.

Elektra Diakolambrianou is a Greek psychologist and researcher with post-graduate studies in person-centred psychotherapy, art therapy, and social psychology. She works as a psychotherapist; a lecturer at the Institution for Counseling and Psychological Studies in Athens; as well as an associate counselor and researcher at NGOs that work with refugees, migrants, and ex-convicts. Her journey in larp began in 2017, soon leading her to explore the psychotherapeutic, educational, and political dimensions of larp. Since 2019, she has been a member and co-founder of LARPifiers, a Greek-based larp designer non-profit company, where she works as a larp designer, organizer, and project manager.

Yeonsoo Julian Kim is a game designer, writer, and cultural consultant who works in tabletop games, larp, and interactive fiction. They received a Masters in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University in 2015. Some of their games include the interactive horror novel The Fog Knows Your Name published by Choice of Games, and the storytelling game Women are Werewolves published by 9th Level Games. Their best known larps are But Not Tonight, The Long Drive Back from Busan, which won a Golden Cobra Award, and The Truth About Eternity, which debuted at Fastaval 2019.

Katrin Geneuss is professor at interim in the Faculty of Teacher Education at the Department for German Language and Literature at Siegen University, Germany. Moreover, she is a guest researcher at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich at the Research Centre for Values Education. She holds a PhD with an empirical study of modelling edu-larp as a drama-tool in German lessons. Her main focus in research and teaching are hybrid learning arrangements applied in language teaching. Prior to working at Siegen University, Katrin worked as a teacher and lecturer in Uppsala, Sweden (2008 - 1016), Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (2016 – 2020) and Würzburg University (2020 – 2021).

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Image by Liliia Chorna.

Last modified: 2022-10-25