My Journey to Becoming a Game Designer

Keep It Real board game

Welcome to Trance4mation Games – a Company I created to provide a deeply engaging, enjoyable and gentle way for us all to engage in deeply vulnerable and authentic conversations with one another, where we can all feel understood and validated, and move toward healing together.

Trance4mation Games logo

I spent 35 years working in marginalized communities, to include working with the schizophrenic population in homeless shelters, an emergency shelter for runaway and homeless youth, was a Clinical Supervisor for residences for homeless young adults, created, implemented and supervised Creative Arts programs for at-risk youth in failing inner city schools for six years, facilitated Poetry workshops at the Riker’s Island Women’s Jail, was a Department of Defense Reintegration Specialist, and much more.

I am also a therapist in private practice who has a history of my own significant mental health challenges, many of which I have overcome, and some that I struggle with daily. I did not plan to develop games, or to create a Company to deliver these games. However, it always amazed me that with all of our incredible innate human capacity for understanding, connection and love – we have very few resources or tools to encourage and help us to grow, enhance and put into practice these capacities amongst and with our fellow human beings. So many of us feel entirely isolated, rejected, alone, unloved or cared for, with no one to talk to and no way to give meaning to our experiences.

Players playing board game

I never consciously decided to create games. My first creation, the Keep It Real game came to me, almost as if in a visitation, with all of the categories and mechanics in place. And as in pregnancy, pushed me from the inside to develop it fully and get it out into the world. The Keep It Real game is all about the human condition, with 720 questions about life for us all to engage in together. It is a mixture of very deep questions, more neutral questions, and hilarious physical group interactions and fun challenges. Seeing it played, I realized that this blend lowers defenses and engages even the most resistant people, most of the time.

Because of my experiences working with diverse populations prior to my developing my games, it was clear to me that unique groups have unique problems, which due to stigma and lack of access or resources are rarely, if ever addressed, and need specialized, personalized solutions. So, I developed a number of specialized games to address these populations.

Sitting with groups of people, many who for the first time are openly sharing their stories, emotions and experiences through these games, deeply enriches my life, my spirit and my soul. It is an incredible gift that I have this opportunity. As the games bring us all into our humanity, they cross all barriers and allow us to build bridges and understand those from walks of life we may never otherwise engage with. As I sit with the incarcerated, those in the gang life, violence interrupters, College Professors, Corporate leaders, etc. , as we all enter into our humanity together, I am often reminded that I do not know where I would be right now if I had not created these opportunities for me to stretch and to grow, enhance and share my own humanity. In this world where it is so easy to go numb and to check out, where many of us are overwhelmed and lose touch with ourselves to some extent, I remain entirely grateful for my Keep It Real “visitation” which propelled me into this ongoing encounter with the kaleidoscope of the human experience.

Check out the play session of the Keep It Real game which Leslie co-hosted with Ludogogy.

Founder and CEO at Trance4mation Games
Leslie Robinson is a therapist, and the Founder and CEO of Trance4mation Games, a Company formed to transform and to heal relationships and lives through engaging and profound dialogue.

Leslie developed a FREE site of online mini-games at for everyone to play with friends, family and co-workers. All of these Restorative Communication games provide safe, structured spaces to experience understanding, empathy, healing and LOVE!

See also these links for individual games
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