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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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An Interview with Kinful: Bringing Cross-Cultural Empathy to Schools with VR

03/4/18 iThrive Games

How do we prepare today’s students to thrive in an uncertain world? One proven technique is for schools to wholeheartedly support students’ social and emotional development — their empathy, their ability to bounce back after failure, and their capacity to connect meaningfully and sensitively with diverse people across the world. Schools are demanding effective social […]

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Nier: Automata – True Kindness in Games Requires Sacrifice

02/27/18 James Portnow

Editor’s note: This guest-authored post was inspired by a panel discussion called “Find the Kind” at MagFest in January of 2018. The panel was led by Heidi McDonald and Sean Weiland of iThrive Games, James Portnow of Extra Credits, and Dr. Shaun Cashman of Pfeiffer University. Please note that THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS for the […]

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Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – Why the World Needs a Hero with a Mental Illness

02/20/18 Courtney Garcia

Editor’s note: This guest-authored post is part of iThrive’s series on games and mental health. Articles in this series reflect iThrive’s commitment to use and design games in support of teens’ mental health and well-being, both within and outside of traditional therapeutic contexts. Talking about mental illness can be difficult, confusing, and sometimes even scary. […]

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