Empowering Teens Through Great Games

About iThrive Games

iThrive Games collaborates with game developers, tests games with teens, and provides resources to foster teen thriving through gameplay.

The potential for video games to empower teens has been largely overlooked even though video games allow for players to stretch their skills, take risks, and explore who they are and who they want to be. iThrive Games is a team of social and emotional learning experts, psychologists, and game developers that works to address this oversight through collaborations with game studios as well as teen development and positive psychology experts. The iThrive Games team embraces teens’ love of video games, and explores how great games can empower teens to discover and use their unique strengths, unlock their potential, and take charge of their well-being.

Our Blog

09/12/17 Belinda Zoller

Making a Game in One Hour: The Power of Our Choices

Editor’s note: At iThrive Games, we’re always curious about how video games—playing them and making them—can support personal growth and transformation, especially for teens and young adults just venturing out on their life’s path. Here, guest author Belinda Zoller, community manager for Extra Credits, reflects on a game design project that delivered meaningful insight…and fueled […]

08/29/17 iThrive Games

Heidi McDonald Has Been Promoted to Senior Creative Director of iThrive Games

We are pleased to announce that Heidi McDonald was promoted from Creative Director to Senior Creative Director of iThrive Games, effective July 1, 2017. In her new role, Heidi uses her natural zest and creativity to lead our organization’s strategy for partnering with game developers and scholars across the world, spurring the production of meaningful […]

08/8/17 Paul Darvasi

Putting It in Context: Using Commercial Video Games in Education

Editor’s note: As teens head back to school, we’re putting the focus on how one inventive and passionate educator makes commercial video games (as well as games of his own invention) a vibrant part of his teaching approach. Paul Darvasi teaches high school English at Royal St. George’s Academy in Toronto, Canada. *** I’m a […]

07/18/17 Ian Schreiber

Psychology and Game Design: One Possible Future Path

“Is flow the only concept from positive psychology that…help[s] us design better games regardless of our motives for doing so? Or is it just the only one that the game design community has discovered so far?” – Ian Schreiber Editor’s note: Ian Schreiber joined iThrive Games for our October 2016 design hive, where he learned […]

07/13/17 Michelle Bertoli

Come See iThrive Games at IPPA and Serious Play!

iThrive Games is excited to have a presence at two conferences this month. From Thursday, July 13 to Sunday, July 16, Michelle Bertoli will be at the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) Fifth World Congress (Palais des congrès de Montréal, Canada). She’ll present a poster on iThrive Games’ theory of change for how games can […]

07/11/17 Brie Code

Games for Personal Growth: A Design Process

“When I think of my friends saying they want to ‘grow and change’ from the media they consume, I know they would find games designed around developing their strengths to be rewarding.” – Brie Code Editor’s note: We were lucky to have Brie Code at our February 2017 design hive in Anaheim, CA. She told […]

07/5/17 Heidi McDonald

Seeking Contributors: Special Issue of Well Played

UPDATE: Aug. 23, 2017. Please note that the deadline for submissions has been extended to Oct. 1, 2017. iThrive Games, in cooperation with Carnegie Mellon’s ETC Press, has released a call for submissions for a special peer-reviewed issue of the Well Played journal. We have recruited a team of highly respected game academics from around […]



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