Gen Con is a long-running game convention held in Indianapolis the first week of August. It is mostly about playing board and card games, but the con also features many workshops, including a whole pre-day for educators called "Trade Day."

Since people tell me my workshops and seminars are some of the biggest highlights of their Gen Con trip, I'd like to share them with you now.

"What’s Your Game Plan?: Turn Your Lesson or Training into a Game"

This workshop will be repeated during Gen Con. Each session is essentially the same workshop, but after my opening 15 minute lecture, the rest of it is a game design session, whose content and conversations are completely unique each time, since they are based upon the learning activities attendees wish to see turned into games. So if you have the time, you may wish to attend both sessions!

1st Session

Date and Time: Thursday @ 3pm - 4:30pm

Event Number: WKS17109514 (register here!)


2nd Session

Date and Time: Sunday @ 10am - 11:30am

Event Number: WKS17109500 (register here!)


3rd Session (Note: This 3rd session might not be open for registration yet, since Gen Con is still deciding whether to run it. If they decide yes, its registration link below should be working by the Thursday the Con begins.)

Date and Time: Sunday @ 12pm - 1:30pm 

Event Number: WKS17125312 (register here!) 


Cost: $24


What does the lesson “Finding Citations,” the game “Trivial Pursuit,” and the mechanic “Bluffing” all have in common? In this boot camp brainstorm, your team is given a mission: to enhance a teaching lesson or training exercise with the mechanics of popular board games in only 20 minutes. Whether you need to teach the rules of citation or of interviewing, there’s usually a game plan that can help. If you’re an educator, training manager, presenter, instructional designer, or an actual game designer, you’ll learn how to integrate non-digital educational games or simulations into your classroom or workspace. This full-featured workshop begins with an interactive lecture on the power of game pedagogy, then segues into whole room active game design, and is kept at an optimum size so we can explore your instructional problems in depth. Led by a professor from the City University of New York.

Note: You can read more about the success of this famous workshop (and its accompanying card game about game design called "What's Your Game Plan?") on this page.

"Redesigning Board Games for Educational or Instructional Purposes"

Date and Time: Friday @ 7pm - 9:30pm

Event Number: WKS17112749 (register here!)

Cost: $24


Are you a teacher, training manager, content designer or learning game designer? We’re going to play a well-designed commercial board or card game (e.g. Pandemic, Red7, Forbidden Island) for 45 minutes. Next, we will study reference cards I created that meticulously examine how the game might be modified to teach any school or workplace instructional goal (or to visualize a problem). Finally, you will pick such a goal, and together with the other smart people on your team, brainstorm a new learning game that is inspired by the game you just played. You will walk away with several ideas for enhancing your own instruction. Led by a professor of game-based learning pedagogy.

"Kick the Bore, Not the Bucket: How to Bring Games Into Your Job"

Date and Time: Thursday @ 1pm - 2:30pm

Event Number: SEM17112750  (register here!)

Cost: Free!


Feel like there’s a way… but not quite sure how? Let’s help each other forget the lonely dreariness of networking and meetings. We’ll play games and discuss adapting them for mingling, building a team, delivering presentations, or visualizing any problem. At the end, you’ll see some custom designed card games for business. Led by 1 business consultant and 1 game professor.