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The Ivory Dice Tower segments 3-8

I've been doing 3-minute segments on Tom Vasel's show, Boardgame Breakfast, called The Ivory Dice Tower.  I'm talking about games in the academy.


Every so often, I'll post the direct links to my segments in these shows.

Episode 3 - Introduction & Board Games in Game Studies

Episode 4 - Where to find Game Studies

Episode 5 - What are transformative games

Episode 6 - Discussion of Rules of Play

Episode 7 - What is Play?

Episode 8 - Using Play in Going, Going, Gone!


Meaningful Gamification and Game Design talks at MIT

I'll be heading back to Boston next week to work with our MIT partners (the Education Arcade) on the IMLS grant we've been working toward.  While there, I'm going to offer up some events to the public that are hosted by the MIT Game Lab.  

I'll be doing a talk on meaningful gamification, and then I'll be hosting the Game Lab's Friday Games, where I'll be talking through the evolution and publishing of Going, Going, GONE!, my new board game published by Stronghold Games.

Both events are open to the public and will be streamed live on the MIT Game Lab's TwitchTV stream.


Meaningful Gamification: Motivating through Play instead of Manipulating through Rewards

Thursday, December 12 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am Eastern, E15-335,

20 Ames St Cambridge, MA 02139 United States

Gamification is the use of game design concepts to create a layer on a real world setting. Typical gamification focuses on the use of rewards like points and badges to change the behavior of users, which can cause long-term damage to intrinsic motivation. Meaningful gamification is the use of design concepts from games and play to help people find personal connections to a real-world setting. Attendees will learn about the basics of gamification, the ways that reward-based gamification can do harm, and Nicholson’s RECIPE for meaningful gamification. 



Friday Games: Going, Going, GONE!

Friday, December 13 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Eastern MIT Game Lab,
Compton Labs Cambridge, MA 02139 United State

Join Scott Nicholson, director of the Because Play Matters game lab at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies, to learn about his recently published recreational board game, Going, Going, GONE! During this session, Scott will talk through the four-year design and submission processes behind this (what appears to be a) simple and straightforward live-time auction game. The game will also be available to play afterwards.






Next Game Designers' Guild meeting - Dec. 6th

We will have our last Game Designers' Guild meeting for the year on December 6th in Hinds Hall, room 011.


From 5:30-6pm, we will play some type of game.

From 6pm-7pm, Yang Wang, a faculty member at the iSchool, will lead a brainstorming session about a privacy game he is looking to develop in partnership with the lab.

From 7pm-onward, you can bring your own games to have people test, playtest games, or bring other games to play!


Weekend events at the Everson

Looking for a fun and educational family event this weekend?

Game Jam at the Everson

This Saturday, November 9th from noon to 3pm, at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, the Because Play Matters game lab from Syracuse University's School of Information Studies is hosting a family Game Jam!   Families will work together to create a  game out of Play-Doh and other pieces, and then will be able to play all of the games and vote on the one they like best.

This program is free, but requires an RSVP as spots are limited.  To learn more and to RSVP, visit


Then, on Sunday, Nov. 10th, we are hosting Beyond Monopoly: A Living Exhibit about Modern Board games from 12-5.  During this time, you can come to the Museum and try out a variety of modern board games.  This is free with Museum Admission and doesn't require you to sign up.  More information is at


Next Game Designers' Guild meeting - November 8

The next meeting of the Game Designers' Guild is November 8th, and will be in Hinds Hall, room 347 (note different room).


5:30-6pm  Playthrough of The Stanley Parable

6pm - 7pm  Formal Meeting, Discussion of the process of getting a game to market with Scott's new game, Going, Going, GONE! as an example

7pm - done Playtesting of games and playing games.  Bring your own games to play or find playtesters for! 


The meeting is open to the public.


Questions?  Contact Scott Nicholson at