Overwatch Endorsements and Promoting Player Kindness

Blizzard Entertainment has added a feature to their co-op shooter, Overwatch (rated 13+ years), which promotes kindness in their player base. The system took effect in update 1.25 of the game. The idea is that after someone completes a team match, each player has the...


About iThrive's Critical Strengths Engine

At GenCon earlier this month, we were delighted to announce our Critical Strengths Engine. Critical Strengths is a tabletop role-playing game (RPG) engine -- or ruleset with which to play tabletop RPGs -- that applies the science of empathy and kindness to exploring...

The 2018 Design Hive: Plenty of Buzz, and a Real Bee

iThrive Design Hives are annual retreats with veteran game developers and scholars in the field. The iThrive team, along with these folks, works to identify best practices in game design, on various topics, after we review the scientific literature around components...

About iThrive's Journal of Games, Self, and Society

Journal of Games, Self, & Society (JGSS) is a peer-reviewed journal created and edited by iThrive Games and published by ETC Press. The goal of JGSS is to encourage interdisciplinary research, conversation, and community around games-related scholarship. The...




The Power of Teens

The Power of Teens

iThrive co-designs games with teens, educators, mental health experts, and professional game developers to discover how play and design can empower teens to thrive. But why do we care about teens? First of all, we know teens face tremendous pressures. Just a few of...

Sea of Thieves: Anchored in Positive Design

Sea of Thieves: Anchored in Positive Design

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,...

A Canadian Game Jam On Mental Health and Teens? Mais Oui!

A Canadian Game Jam On Mental Health and Teens? Mais Oui!

The first weekend of October, iThrive staff made their way to Montréal, Canada to co-host the JamNATION game jam. The jam was the perfect opportunity to test two shiny new Design Kits we developed with expert devs and scholars at this fall’s iThrive Design Hive:...