Hi, I am Maria and I am a multidisciplinary game studies researcher, a playful facilitator and a cultural manager. I cooperate with different communities and stakeholders, using playfulness and storytelling in their different applications, within and beyond the digital world.

For a full list of my skills, papers and projects, download my academic CV (pdf) and if you have further questions I would love to hear from you @ msaridaki@gmail.com

I have a PhD in inclusive playful interactions and digital games from University of Athens, a post-doc on Digital Storytelling for women in vulnerable social groups and an Msc in Information Management where I researched friendly interactions in MMORPGs.

I am passionate about meaningful, open and humane learning practices and I have been teaching at different universities (e.g. applied gaming, game design, game based learning, urban games, digital storytelling, new media), organising and facilitating workshops and events on behalf of large educational and cultural organisations, as well as grass-root communities. I have helped to design playful and inclusive experiences to foster creativity, learning and communication in different settings, such as:

^ workshops on game design for students of different backgrounds and abilities (urban games, digital games, location based games, live action role playing games)
^ workshops on game design, educational games, political & art games, storytelling, urban play & play testing facilitation for game designers and developers (in game design conferences, game jams, community meet-ups)
^ location based games (training, education, social & political issues, game design, sustainability, social skills, route learning, cultural routes, museums)
^ games & creative playful presentations (for museum and art exhibitions, European Projects, conferences, TedX events, book presentations)
^ pop up kits to foster creativity and game design skills
^ live action role play games (art festivals, adult training, education, game festivals)
^ digital storytelling workshops to foster creativity & personal expression (creatives, general public, underrepresented groups such as women refugees and women with disabilities)

TedXWarwick 2014 on playful evolution and games
INDIECADE 2019 on Temporary Playful Spaces

For the past 15 years, I have been working as a researcher, educator, project manager, connector, creative facilitator and curator. Organising and curating exhibitions, organisation strategies, EU and National projects, game jams, festivals, conferences, workshops, curricula and experiences using different pedagogical methodologies based on creativity, intrinsic motivation, inclusion, storytelling and playfulness. I have been actively supporting the indie games design scene providing consultation, capacity building, networking opportunities and funding. I was currently the artistic director of the Creative Europe Project Trust in Play: European School of Urban Game Design

I am passionate about cities and urban communities and I have co-founded Athens Plaython Festival and Community, an international urban games festival taking place in Athens. My multidisciplinary work and versatile processes have been presented at festivals, conferences and museums around Europe, inspiring and supporting students and creatives through their practices.

For collaborations, feel free to send me an email at msaridaki@gmail.com