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

11/1/17 Susan Rivers & Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann

We Can’t Design Games for Teens Without This

iThrive Games and EdTogether are co-designers and co-facilitators of Game Design Studio, a special game-based social and emotional learning program for teens. In this post, you’ll learn: what teens in Game Design Studio have said really matters to them; the goals and structure of the program; its key features; and a primary takeaway from our […]

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10/31/17 Michelle Bertoli

Oxenfree: Spooky and Meaningful Halloween Play

I’ll be hearing eerie radio static in my nightmares for the foreseeable future. That’s because last night, in preparation for my favorite holiday, I turned out the lights and spent three hours taking in the delightfully spooky Oxenfree, a horror game that uses tuning a handheld radio as a core mechanic. Released in 2016 by […]

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10/17/17 Sean Weiland

My Favorite Games from IndieCade 2017

From Oct. 6-8, I was lucky to attend the 10th IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games in Los Angeles. The weather was beautiful and ramen was available in more varieties than I was able to consume (although I tried). I set out through Little Tokyo to play as many games as possible and chat with […]

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10/10/17 Michelle Bertoli

That’s a Wrap on Design Hive 3

What do you call an enthusiastic gathering of game devs and psychologists? In the world of iThrive Games, that’s an #iThriveDesignHive! Our third Hive took place Sept. 21-24, 2017 in Anaheim, CA. We added a fantastic group of individuals to our collective Hive Mind, which includes indie, educational, and AAA devs and studio heads, top […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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