About us / Staff

Jon Manker

Contact information

Jon Manker
Alfred Nobels allé 7
Södertörns Högskola
Phone: +46 8 608 4832
Fax: +46 8 608 4535
MD 368 Moas Båge

Games are my focus.

All my life, game design has been my main focus. I have actively designed games since age 9 and sustained doing so throughout my entire educational and professional life. 

I have worked in many aspects of game design and its application to creative processes, communication and actual games. Since the late 1970s I have actively designed board games. 2007 onward, game design has been the main professional activity; today at Ion Game Design and Södertörn University. Previously at Paradox Interactive where I worked on game design and was project lead for their tablet development. Concerinng Ion Game Design I advice you to follow the link above to its web site.

I started working at Södertörn University in 1997 by founding the multimedia part of the Journalism and Multimedia programme, which over the years have grown into Media Technology, Informatics and a number of educational programmes at those subjects. I have been involved in the development of many courses and also had a responsibility for the interior design of our present educational facility and its initial IT infra structure. Nowadays I teach mostly courses in game design and game studies, most of them in various game design practices and some concerning Scrum, project management, entrepreneurship, game prototyping and game sound. Over the years I have also taught a lot of courses in film, video and sound design. During my time as a lecturer at Södertörn University I have done basically four things:

- I have done research in the game design field

- I have been responsible for the Game Design-track at our 3 year bachelor programme in Game Development teaching game design and project management. 

- I have worked as an education developer and as such started and developed: The Game Programme, The Journalism and Multimedia Programme, The Media Technology department, The Media Technology education labs and various shorter courses in game development and video production.

- I have been an educator in game development, scrum, project development, game industry entrepreneurship, video production, sound design and scientific writing among other things.
I am proud to have tought 1000+ people to make movies, 850+ people to use Scrum, 400+ people to make games and 250+ people in-depth game design

The Game Programme, where  have put most of my time during recent years, has two tracks: Game Design and scripting and Game ArtTo be able to do this is great; I work with my passion, games, and I get to provide students of today a path into a game career, something I dreamed of, but which there were none in my youth.

In my research I work on a Ph.D. in affiliation with Linköping University, supervised by Mattias Arvola and co-supervised by Jonas Lindeoth and Martin Jonsson. I do my PhD as a part of my lecturer position at Södertörn University. My research focuses on prototyping and agile project management in game design. I have studied how prototypes are used by game designers, what design problems they solve and how they function as communication devices. I continuously test observed practices to draw knowledge from experience. At the moment I am looking at the combination of prototyping and Scrum through a rhetoric lens and have developed a tool, Designscape that I am testing, intended to improve communication in a game development setting.

Althogh I have been designing games since my childhood, my creative output for a while was mostly in the film area from my professional background is in the film industry. There I worked in post-production sound for the most part but also in sound on the set and production management. I also had an interest for scriptwriting and did some work in that field. Today, my ideas around creative work have shifted back into game ideas and as mentioned before I do this in the context of my own company Ion Game Design. This manifests in that I actively design boardgames, with the purpose to get them published and that I host boardgame design meetings at a game club.

Other experiences in my background, apart from the film industry, includes running a web design company, Jojk Interactive, through the IT-boom and sustaining financial solidity. For six years (1998-2004) I was CEO for Jojk which has given me a solid ground as team manager. During that period I also had the role of game designer on three published browser based games. I havge also developed a EU-financed web design education in 1995-1996, worked as a concept developer consultant in the IT-business and taught musicology and cinematology at Skövde University in the 90′s.

Other skills: My active hobby is photography, trained by Emma Svensson among others. I am since age 6 a passionate gamer, my favourite games are those played together.  I am trained in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga by Sassa LeeMaria Boox and John Scott and I am trained in Chuan Fa Kajukenbo Kung Fu by Amanda Golert, Petra Östergren and Stacy Jolles. I have an extensive practice in classical music from my youth. I played the viola for twenty years and have taken lessons an classes in composing for Ingvar KarkoffJan W Morthenson and Rolf Enström. At the moment my music interest is manifested in practicing electric guitar using Rock Band 3 PRO-mode with a Squier and taking lessons in orchestral conducting for conductor Ragna Fagelund.
When our game students arrived for the first time a couple of years ago, finally someone in the academic world or at my university, including students, was able to beat me in Guitar Hero...but only a few of them and no one outside the class yet. So feel free to challenge me at any time. ;)

Linked In profile - academia.edu profile