CounterPlay – an international festival of play & games

We play again on April 9th & 10th 2015, which is in:








Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Courtesy of the lovely initiative by Andreas Zecher, which we fully support.

More about CounterPlay

This is CounterPlay

CounterPlay is a tribute to and an exploration of the many ways, in which a more playful approach can help us live better lives. We focus on the excitement, intense engagement and rich experiences of people involved in all kinds of playing experiences. This sparks an investigation of how play can be transformative, change our thinking, push our boundaries and lead us places, we never imagined


CounterPlay is an international festival of play & games based in Aarhus, Denmark, for anybody who (ought to) think about the potential role of play in their work.


Games, play & being playful are means of cultural, societal, educational and commercial development and transformations as well as sources of joy. In a complex world of constant change and uncertainty, play is a way to cope, navigate, create and exist.


We dream of a world in which the importance of playfulness is recognised, nurtured and considered our finest treasure. We also wish to be a part of creating that world.


CounterPlay aims to grow a playful community & foster playful attitudes. Together we explore the meaning & role of play across domains, while challenging who can play where, how & with what purpose.


CounterPlay inspires and embraces playfulness anywhere in society and specifically investigates the domains of “Playful Culture”, “Playful Education” and “Playful Organisations”.


The festival consists of many different formats and activities, so you can always go listen to inspiring speakers from around the world, engage in active workshops or visit our playground with lots of playful stuff to try out. We also like to mix things up, experimenting with new formats, while always trying to increase the level of interactivity.


We are here to promote a positive & playful culture, that is inclusive, welcoming and supports diversity. We do this by being honest, reliable and transparent, and by constantly listening and engaging in respectful conversations.


CounterPlay is a framework for playful activities, and it’s open to be shaped by anybody who care. We’re a small & agile team, involving a local development group and an international advisory board (under establishment). We’re working to become a financially sustainable non-profit, able to cover necessary expenses and secure the ongoing life of the festival, while supporting similarly playful activities.

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Shot from the opening of CounterPlay - by zo-ii

Time to leave Aarhus! Thank you @mathiaspoulsen for making #CounterPlay14 happen! Wonderful event, lovely people. See you next year!


Two playful and inspiring days at #CounterPlay14 . Thank you @mathiaspoulsen and everyone there. Slightly zombified = mission accomplished.

Christina Majcher

@mathiaspoulsen @ksevik Thank you for an awesome experience, looking forward to the next edition of #counterplay14.

Jørund Høie Skaug

Had a fantastic time at #CounterPlay14. Lots of inspiring talks and amazing people. Thanks to @mathiaspoulsen for making it happen.

Hayley Sanderson

Had a really great time at #CounterPlay14. BIG thanks to @mathiaspoulsen for making it happen, and to all who participated in my “class”!

Tobias Staaby

Brilliant event @mathiaspoulsen ! I have to run to the airport, but looking very much forward for #counterplay15

Santeri Koivisto

@mathiaspoulsen ill bet you that there will be epic demand for tickets for #counterplay15 you will need more space! #CounterPlay14 was epic

Aske Lund

.@mathiaspoulsen wraps up an outstanding first (and experimental) #counterplay14 with the perfect background

Alex Moseley

Thanks to everyone at #CounterPlay14 for a great couple of days. Espec. @mathiaspoulsen for making it happen. /hattip & round of applause

André Chercka

From the blog:

The CounterPlay advisors

“An advisory board is a body that provides non-binding strategic advice to the management of a corporation, organization, or foundation” I read that on Wikipedia, and I thought: “Hey, there’s no doubt that CounterPlay needs a lot of advice to...

We ♥

While Twitter can be an ugly place (with #GamerGate still roaming the wild), there’s a lot of beauty as well. In the latter category, I just stumbled upon Andreas Zecher‘s ““. It’s another very important attempt at making...