Meet Darren – PLA member profile

Each month we will introduce a PLA member through 5 photos telling their Playful Learning journey.

Darren Edwards, Senior Library Assistant, Destination and Culture, BCP Council
BCP Council is responsible for local government services in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

I have been interested in games and play all my life. My interest developed from Choose your own Adventure novels as a child to Warhammer and videogames as a teenager. At University I was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons, live roleplay and modern board-games and I haven’t looked back.

Initially my love of games and my career didn’t mix, but after my short and uneventful period working in spatial ecologist I decided to work in public libraries full-time. Here I was able to join my love of games with my job, helping start a junior chess club and tabletop gaming club that continue running today.

three cuddly toys
(This is a 100% accurate portrayal of my work as a spatial ecologist)

I was introduced to the world of playful learning back in 2014, through one of Andrew Walsh’s game design for information literacy workshops. Here I am explaining the crap game we made in that workshop

My work using games and play in public libraries has been focussed on building communities around games and encouraging family learning around STEM using play.

3 children playing a word game at a table
© BCP Council

In 2015 I offered to volunteer for International Game Day at Your Library (now International Games Week), inadvertently becoming the UK coordinator for the initiative. International Games Week (IGW) is the flagship initiative of the American Library Association Games and Gaming Roundtable with the aim of connecting communities through the power of games.

International Games week merchandise

Thanks for sharing your story and your photos Darren.

If you are unlucky, you might be selected as next month’s sacrifice chosen member – we will be in touch!