Dr. L.J. (Rens) Kortmann


Rens Kortmann (1975) wants the world to be more playful. As a lecturer he uses games and gamification to facilitate his students in becoming independent and critical thinkers. As a scientific researcher he studies how games and performance art may join forces to promote culture change. Games that aim for more than just entertainment have proven to be effective instruments for this purpose. Playing well-designed and well-facilitated games will help players to improve their communication, understand complexity, enhance creativity,  reach consensus, and commit to action (see the seminal work Policy games for strategic management - pathways into the unknown by Duke and Geurts from 2004 for more in-depth background). Adding elements from the performance arts such as theatre, dance, and live music may result in what we call ludic performances: engaging, gameful performances that make people think. In earlier and current work with colleagues and his (PhD) students, Rens studied how to design and facilitate games and ludic performances for culture change. Some examples are: a game for changing the leadership culture in a large governmental organisation (Kortmann et al., 2014), a ludic performance for promoting compassion and collaboration amongst the audience of a ‘Game Opera’ (Kortmann and Luijten, 2016), and a game for advancing a more active listening culture (Erdbrink, Kortmann, and Verbraeck, 2018).

Trained as a cognitive scientist and an artificial intelligence researcher at the universities of Groningen (NL) and Edinburgh (UK), Rens received his PhD in 2003 from the University of Maastricht (NL). Thereafter he worked as a researcher/consultant for CE Delft (NL), a not-for-profit organization for environmental policy research. In 2008 he was appointed Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology (NL). Rens is active in the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA) and in the faculty of Technology, Policy, and Management (TPM) at TU Delft. He is a reviewer for a range of journals and conferences and organised the ISAGA game design summer school in 2014 and the 48th ISAGA conference in 2017. In November 2017 he received the Mekel Prize for sustainable innovation from former TU Delft Rector Magnificus Karel Luyben.

  • Erdbrink, A., Kortmann, R., & Verbraeck, A. (2018). The Context Dependency of Two Popular Persuasive Game Design Principles. In Proceedings of the 49th Conference of the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA). Bangkok.
  • Lukosch, H. K., Bekebrede, G., & Kortmann, R. (Eds.). (2018). Simulation Gaming: Applications for Sustainable Cities and Smart Infrastructures. 48th International Simulation and Gaming Association Conference, ISAGA 2017, Delft, The Netherlands, July 10-14, 2017, Revised Selected Papers. Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science 10825 (Vol. 10825). Cham: Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-91902-7
  • Kortmann, R. and Peters, V. (2017). Demystifying the unseen helmsman: Towards a competency model for game facilitators. Delft/Nijmegen. 66 p.
  • Kortmann, R., & Luijten, A. (2016). Parsifal a Game Opera. In R. Bottino, J. Jeuring, & R. C. Veltkamp (Eds.), GALA 2016. LNCS, Vol. 10056 (pp. 154–164). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-50182-6_14
  • Kortmann, R., Van Daalen, E., Mayer, I., & Bekebrede, G. (2014). Veerkracht 2.0: Embodied interactions in a servant-leadership game. In S. A. Meijer & R. Smeds (Eds.), Frontiers in Gaming Simulation; LNCS 8264 (pp. 44–51). Cham, CH: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-04954-0
  • Kortmann, R., Bekebrede, G., Van Daalen, E., Harteveld, C., Mayer, I., & Van Dierendonck, D. (2013). Veerkracht - a game for servant-leadership development. In C. Otoiu & G. Otoiu (Eds.), The journey of change: mapping the process (pp. 129–152). Cluj-Napoca, RO: Editura ASCR.
  • Kortmann, R., & Sehic, E. (2011). The Railway Bridge Game – usability, usefulness, and potential usage for railways management. In M. Beran (Ed.), Changing the world through meaningful play (pp. 119 – 125). Spokane, WA.
  • Kortmann, R., & Harteveld, C. (2009). Agile game development: lessons learned from software engineering. In G. K. Yeo & Y. Cai (Eds.), Learn to Game, Game to Learn. Singapore: Society of Simulation and Gaming of Singapore.
  • Kortmann, R., Postma, E., & Van den Herik, J. (2001). Evolution of visual resolution constrained by a trade-off. Artificial Life(2), 125 – 145.
  • Kortmann, R., & Hallam, J. (1999). Studying Animals through Artificial Evolution: the Cricket Case. In D. Floreano, J.-D. Nicoud, & F. Mondada (Eds.), Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 1674 (pp. 215–225). Berlin, D: Springer.

More publications

  • TB211A Analyse van multi-actorsystemen, 2nd year bachelor ‘Technische Bestuurskunde’ (P3, 5 ECTS).
  • TB351B Bachelorproject, 3rd year bachelor ‘Technische Bestuurskunde’ (P1 – 4, 15 ECTS).
  • SPM9235 Game Design Project, elective in master ‘SEPAM’ (P1, 4 ECTS).
  • MOT1003 Integration Moment, 1st year master ‘MOT’  (P4, 5 ECTS).
  • Parsifal Playingfields (Operadagen Rotterdam). A game-opera about sustainable development through compassion and cooperation.
  • GAMEFUL MUSIC PERFORMANCES FOR SMART, INCLUSIVE, AND SUSTAINABLE SOCIETIES (GAMPSISS). Blending games and classical music performances to contribute to a more active listening culture

Rens Kortmann

Assistant Professor

Department:Multi-Actor SystemsGroup:Policy AnalysisResearch interests:The Grand Challenges for our society as laid down by the European CommitteeEmbodied experiences in games and gamificationCollective governance (including new models for businesses and democracy)Social / open innovationNew user interfaces for games and play



Additional information

Dr. L.J. (Rens) Kortmann


Bekijk de publicaties in Pure
2010 - Introductie Risico Management
2011 - Discrete modellen
2009 - Analyse van bedrijfssystemen
2009 - Game Design Project
2009 - Bachelor project Technische Bestuurskunde
2009 - Introductie Risico Management
2009 - Project analyse van bedrijfssystemen
2010 - Game Design Project
2011 - Project discreet modelleren
2013 - Project Discreet Modelleren
2012 - Project Discreet Modelleren
2013 - Discreet modelleren
2015 - Discrete simulatie
2013 - Project Discreet Modelleren
2012 - Discreet modelleren
2012 - Integratieproject management in een high-tech omgeving
2014 - Discrete simulatie
2016 - Analyse van multi-actorsystemen
2016 - Analyse van multi-actorsystemen
2016 - Game Design Project
2017 - Game Design Project
2017 - Analyse van multi-actorsystemen
2017 - Analyse van multi-actorsystemen
2017 - Discrete simulatie
2016 - Game Design Project
2016 - Simulation Master Class
2017 - Integration Moment
2016 - Integration Moment
2017 - Game Design Project
2015 - Game Design Project
2018 - Analyse van multi-actorsystemen
2018 - Analyse van multi-actorsystemen
2018 - Discrete simulatie
2018 - Game Design Project
2018 - Game Design Project
2015 - Integration Moment
2016 - Discrete simulatie
2018 - Integration Moment
2020 - Analyse van multi-actorsystemen
2020 - Analyse van multi-actorsystemen
2020 - Discrete simulatie
2019 - Game Design Project
2019 - Game Design Project
2019 - Analyse van multi-actorsystemen
2019 - Analyse van multi-actorsystemen
2019 - Discrete simulatie
2020 - Game Design Project
2020 - Game Design Project
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2018-01-01 - 2022-01-01