THE BACKSTORY: How Game Thinking Certification came to life

Our next session of Game Thinking Certification is coming up soon, so I wanted to tell you why I teach this program, and how it came to be.

This video is the first in a series. In the next few videos, I’ll share details about our curriculum and format — and spotlight our Certification graduates.

For the past two decades, I’ve worked with game companies, tech startups and global brands to build and ship innovative products. I was part of the early design team for The Sims, Rock Band, Covet Fashion, Happify, Ultima Online, Netflix, and eBay.

I saw up close how these risky projects came to life, and grew into massive category-defining hits.

As a designer-for-hire, I’d embed with a team for months —sometimes years — working together to get the game or product built, tuned and shipped. But after our work together ended, I was frustrated that the team couldn’t able to keep that acceleration going without my input.

So I developed a step-by-step process called Game Thinking — based on what I’d learned working on multiple breakthrough hits.

And we started training and empowering our clients to innovate smarter using our proven framework and system.

Once that system was in place and tested, we built an Online Game Thinking Masterclass to train entrepreneurs and product leaders worldwide in this powerful methodology. I ran that program for a few years — and then in 2018, I taught our Game Thinking Masterclass at Stanford University, and shared the methodology in our best-selling book,

Then, in early 2019 — as I was preparing to run the Masterclass again — I got a flurry of requests from professionals around the world who wanted to leverage Game Thinking in their business, & teach the system to others.

Some were entrepreneurs and business owners, wanting to level-up their team and get an edge. Others were service providers, trained in Lego Serious Play and Gamification, looking for an integrated system to embrace what they already knew, and deliver better results for their clients.

So I put together an extended training program in parallel with the Masterclass, and our Game Thinking Certification program was born.

Fast forward to September 2020. We’ve combined the Masterclass and Certification into one powerful training program, and we’ve now graduated 24 Game Thinking Certified professionals from our program.

These professionals are using Game Thinking to deliver better, faster innovation outcomes for their teams and clients. We have a diverse, international group — they hail from Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, and across the USA, and work at startups, game studios, banks, insurance companies, and service consultancies.

By learning together in small groups, with creators from around the world, our Certification students are able to master the core Game Thinking principles, and inject that power into their business.

I created Game Thinking Certification for people who are eager to level-up their product skills and bring that knowledge back to their team and clients.

I’m thrilled with the glowing feedback we get from graduates — AND their suggestions for improvement. We’ve used that feedback to make the program even better.

For Fall 2020, we’re introducing an upgraded and expanded Certification program that delivers the training and support you need to see meaningful results in your business.

Game Thinking Certification will help you become a more effective product leader, launch ideas into the world in a strategic, smart way, and deliver better results on every project you work on.


Game designer, startup coach, author, entrepreneur