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The Major Fun Awards

Eight Funnest Games for 2008

Most Major Fun Party Games for 2007

Game Development Services

The Major Fun Award was developed by Bernie DeKoven to identify games that are:
            • easy to learn (5-15 minutes),
            • played in under an hour,
            • fun enough to play over and over again,
            • easy to store,
            • made to last,
            • uniquely fun,
            • tend to make people laugh,
            • deep enough to withstand a lot of changes.


Major Fun Award-winning games prove to be easy to:
  • adapt to younger and older players,
  • tune to different play preferences and abilities,
  • make more or less complex, longer or shorter, sillier or more serious.

In Bernie DeKoven's Deep Fun programs, he uses games to help people share and build energizing, supportive relationships - friends, couples, family members, neighbors, communities, coworkers, teams, teachers and students, patients and healers. Games give people a way to do serious things without taking them seriously. Major Fun games are key components of my toolkit. Which helps explain why I developed the Major Fun program.

There are three kinds of awards that Bernie offers. The Major Fun award you already know about. The award-winning games that he's found to be especially successful in helping people practice principles of playfulness receive the Keeper award. These games have already shown themselves to be Major Fun, but also prove to be exceptionally flexible, easy to learn, and easy to adapt to a wide range of audiences and play styles.


Finally there's the Defender of the Playful Award. With this award, he adds his recognition to other people who have created something valuable, and meaningfully fun, have demonstrated a passion for playfulness, and have somehow been able to make it available to a wide range of audiences.

Games Tastings:

Games that receive an award are selected during "Games Tastings"- weekly gatherings attended by a random collection of local game-players, sometimes teens, sometimes adults, sometimes kids. We start with a pile of games - some unopened, some favorites from previous Tastings, in no particular order. When we play a game for he first time, we rarely play a whole game through (that's why we call it a "Tasting"), unless we are having too much fun to stop. Those games, the ones we really don't want to stop playing, or the ones we want to play again, become candidates for a Major Fun Award. Some, we play a different way. Some we spend more time studying the rules to see if there's anything we missed. It's informal, not very scientific, but it's fun, and surprisingly accurate. The winning games are reviewed by Major FUN himself. The games we keep bringing back are considered for a Keeper Award. There are no negative reviews, so, if you submit a game and it doesn't get reviewed, it's because, FUN-wise, it wasn't found to be, shall we say, Major.

Award Winners:

Award-winning games are granted the right to use the Major Fun seal on packaging, descriptive materials and on the manufacturer's websites. Games that have been "tasted" and not brought back for further exploration are then distributed to local families, schools and recreation centers.

Before a review goes online, a draft copy is sent to the game publisher for corrections and comments. Reviews are then posted on the Major Fun site,, Board Game Geek,, and related print and online game resources.

Major Fun will make himself reasonably available to act as a personal spokesperson for any award-winning game.

Submitting Your Games:

Games that are requested by Major FUN are entered into the review program without charge.

Games that are submitted for review without prior correspondence are subject to a one-time fee. Fees for having a game considered vary, depending on the size of the company and the number of games to be reviewed.

  • Small companies (3 games or fewer) $100-200
  • Medium companies (less than 10 games) $500-$750
  • Larger companies (more than 10 games) $1,000-$1,500

Please note: fees are waived for games that have been specifically requested for review.

Please make checks payable to: Bernie (Major Fun) DeKoven

Manufacturers who are interested in submitting their games should send TWO COPIES of each game submitted to the following address:

Bernie (Major FUN) DeKoven
915 N. Lesley Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46219
+1 317.357.9227

Why 2 copies?

This way we can loan some Tasters one copy. We see the condition of the first copy when it comes back.
If it looks well-used, and still well-usable then we know we should take the game seriously. It has been played alot. It has been played lovingly.

We then play test the other copy in a more formal Games Tasting. If it is found as Major Fun as we think it will, we write a draft review which we email you for corrections and final approval. We publish the review and forward you electronic copies of our seal to use online and off.

Please see this for information about Major FUN game development services.


Bernie DeKoven

The Major Fun Seal is a offered by award-winning designer and educator, Bernie DeKoven. The seal is presented to games, toys, publishers, organizations, designers, performers and programs for their achievement in making something uniquely fun.

Bernie has been inventing new ways to play since the early 1970s when he developed a curriculum in social skill development through games for the School District of Philadelphia and helped the New Games Foundation develop its international training program in facilitating large scale community play events. He first started reviewing board and table games professionally in the early 70s where he conducted a game evaluation program for parents and community leaders and wrote reviews and contributed some of his own game concepts to Games Magazine. He worked as a game designer for Ideal Toy Company, and Mattel Media, and created his own award-winning designs for Children's Television Workshop. He received the Ifil-Reynolds award for outstanding achievement from the North American Simulation and Gaming Association and is a lifetime member of The Association for the Study of Play. He currently consults to LEGO as well as independent game inventors and publishers who want to make their games more fun.



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