Mental Health in Games: 3 Design Tropes that Need to Die

05/21/18 Kelli Dunlap, PsyD

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s talk about how mental illness is represented in video games and why that should change. About a quarter of commercially released video games include characters with symptoms of a mental illness. Too often, these portrayals follow the trends we’ve seen in over 40 years of research into […]

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Game-Based Learning in the Classroom: 3 Essential Questions

05/14/18 Barbara Chamberlin & Jesse Schell

Because games teach in ways that are unique, they bring many interesting affordances to the classroom. Games give learners a chance to immerse themselves in new information, apply that information in problem solving, and take new perspectives. They offer exposure to new content, and ways to practice tasks. Students can fail safely in games, and […]

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Co-op Therapy: Using Video Games to Connect with Teen Clients

04/20/18 Josué Cardona

In my therapy practice, I’ve found that the best way to reach a client is by speaking his or her “language.” When it comes to talking to teens, I don’t just mean speaking English or Spanish. I mean speaking fluently about the latest trends, songs, and games. I once worked with a client who did […]

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Sea of Thieves: Anchored in Positive Design

04/11/18 Kelli Dunlap, PsyD

Sea of Thieves (SoT; rated 13+ years), a pirate-themed, open-world game, launched in March of 2018 with over 1,000,000 players ready to set sail on day one. What initially sparked my interest in SoT was an article in US Gamer about how Rare, the development studio, had specifically designed the game to preemptively combat the […]

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How Games Change the World by Modeling the Truth

03/28/18 Jason VandenBerghe

“How can a game change young people’s minds in a positive way?” There’s a hopeful idea underneath this question. It’s hidden beneath the words, and it’s one any parent would recognize: “I believe that my message to my children will be heard.” Certainly, parents’ messages to their children are often heard. Still, anyone who has […]

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