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

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

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 the United States to review papers submitted to us by September 1, 2017. Papers can be data-driven or […]

06/28/17 Michelle Bertoli

Officially Introducing Our New Name and Logo!

At the root of iThrive Games is a focus on strengths and the power of play to support learning and growth, especially in teens. Over the past few months, we’ve been revisiting how we convey that message through our visual brand. When Dorothy Batten first founded our organization in 2014, we went by iThrive. Our […]

06/16/17 Michelle Bertoli

GUIDE: A Video Game for Challenging Your Fears

“The voice in your head is not always a truthful guide, and the journey of fighting your fear starts by making the choice to question your own narrative.” – www.guidethegame.com You are Fia, a baby phoenix just born back into the world from a pile of ashes. Lightning strikes the tree you call home and […]

06/2/17 Michelle Bertoli & Heidi McDonald

Zest in Video Games: Teens Need Some Excitement

This article is part of a series that captures game industry experts’ opinions on game titles and mechanics that might boost habits, mindsets, and skills that empower teens to thrive. These insights arose from discussions at an iThrive Games-sponsored think tank with game developers and scholars. Teens are wired to venture out, take risks, and […]



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