Advancing the ways games advance us 

Projects

Explore our research, co-design, and advocacy at the intersection of games, mental health, and education.

iThrive Games collaborates and co-designs with teens, game developers, studios, and universities worldwide.

  • Our game development initiatives bring together developers from a range of backgrounds to create design tools, generate prototypes of compelling games, and further the exploration of crafting meaningful experiences.
  • Our education projects focus on creating compelling game-based curricular units and game design events for teens in formal and informal learning settings, always with the input of expert classroom teachers and teens themselves.
  • Our mental health efforts reveal the power of games for use in therapeutic settings and create supportive experiences for teens to explore identity, wellness, and meaning.

All the while, we research, incubate, and test even more resources to identify and shape the ways games have meaning for adults and teens alike.

Games are practice for life.

— Jason Vandenburgh, Design Director

GAMES, SELF,
& SOCIETY

Researching how games interact with the world

Explore the latest in interdisciplinary scholarship on game development, mental health, and education in our peer-reviewed journal.

BEYOND
GAMEPLAY

Exploring what lives on when the game is turned off

Gain valuable knowledge from this podcast that amplifies research and encourages conversations surrounding games that are designed and used to explore and promote humanity.

CRITICAL
STRENGTHS
ENGINE

Empowering strengths through play

Check out our tabletop role-playing game that focuses on social and psychological skills and strengths and is currently being playtested around the country.

GAME DESIGN STUDIO

Amplifying teen voices

Learn how we co-design experiences with teens while inviting them to engage in self-reflection and strength-building through play, critical game analysis, user-centered game design, and systems thinking.

CURATED
GAMES

Highlighting meaningful game experiences

Find and access outstanding games that demonstrate elements of a strengths-based approach to learning and resilience through building habits like empathy, kindness, and forgiveness.

CLINICIANS GUIDES

Meeting teens where they are

A growing collection of one-page tip sheets for discussing popular video games in therapeutic settings.

DESIGN KITS

Providing developers with innovative tools

Develop engaging games that build strengths, explore meaningful topics, and benefit players. Our design kits outline strengths-based themes, mechanics, and design tips that have the potential to build positive habits for thriving.

GAME-BASED CURRICULUM

The next step in teaching today’s teens

Use these tools that were created around social and emotional learning strategies to help your students grow and learn in ways they never have before.

Bitnami