There are many powerful, entertaining games but not all of them have the same kind of impact. At the Center, we focus on games that provoke a change in the player or the world – change stimulated in part because of the player’s experience with the particular game. This area of our site features the Center for Games & Impact’s collection of impactful games. We’ve provided resources to help you understand a game’s impact as we understand it (for example, try downloading a game’s Impact Guide to complement your play experience with one of the games listed here).
The Doctor’s Cure immerses players in a town divided over a controversial cure for a deadly plague. Wield the power of persuasive writing to save the town.
The Mystery of Taiga River is an immersive game where players are environmental scientists and lead an investigation to find out why the rivers’s fish are dying.
A turn-based strategy series borrowing elements from the board-game of the same name. Civilization was released in 1991, and created by MicroProse.
Clim’City is an online game where the player manages strategies to alter the city’s carbon footprint to lower energy and greenhouse gas waste levels.
Destiny, released in 2014, is a massive multiplayer online game for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, and Playstation 4.
A third person stealth action game set in 2027 where players act as Adam Jensen, shaping the fate of human augmentation technology, and ultimately, humanity itself.
In this game a scientist named Wilson who has been trapped in a strange world. You have to survive dangers like monsters, the dark, keeping your sanity and not starving.
A sandbox style, MMORPG set in a science fiction themed galaxy. EVE features over 400,000 players competing for in-gamer territory, wealth, & renown.
Flower is designed to evoke a wide spectrum of powerful emotions from the player as they control the wind using simple and intuitive motion controls.
With the ideal of contributing to real-world scientific research, players tweak and fold various proteins into new and complex structures using an online puzzle interface.
A 3D interactive narrative game that tells the story of the World Food Programme & details the process of how food aid is brought into major crisis zones worldwide.
In FutureBound, players guide a student through the transition from middle school to high school, nurturing their interests and career ambitions in order to prepare them for the challenges of college and beyond.
Gamestar Mechanic is a game and community designed to teach kids the principles of game design and systems thinking in a highly engaging environment.
Heavy Rain puts the player in control of four characters, each with a singular goal: to discover the identity of a child kidnapper known only as the “Origami Killer.”
iCivics prepares young Americans to become knowledgeable, engaged 21st century citizens by creating free and innovative educational materials.
We the Jury gives players a sense of participating in jury duty by choosing different civil cases, analyzing evidence and using arguments to reach an impartial verdict.
A 3D exploration game with a narrative told through visual metaphor. Journey boasts an innovative player matching system that pairs players with anonymous partners.
LittleBigPlanet is a puzzle-platformer in which players solve themed puzzle levels, or create some of their own, learning the importance of creativity and sharing.
Mojan Studios sandbox construction game. Players must survive in a massive open-world setting by relying on natural resources, mining, and crafting.
An educational build of the video game Minecraft to give teachers the ability to create fun, interactive lessons and assignments in virtually any subject.
Never Alone is an atmospheric puzzle-platform game steeped in traditional Alaska Native stories along with the culture and values of the Iñupiat community.
A series of strategy flash games created by Dark Realm Studios. The ultimate goal is to design & build a disease that will infect & eradicate all life on Earth.
In Papers, Please players take on the role of a border inspector in fictional Artstotzka. The player attempts to enforce rules that change daily to protect the country.
PBS Kart Kingdom helps younger players understand systems and how components come together to create a whole, such as the pipes in the water system.
A political simulation game in which players take on the role of the Israeli Prime Minister or the Palestinian President & attempt to create peace between the countries.
Pokémon X & Y is the sixth installment of the Pokémon saga. In this game the player explores the region of Kalos where Pokémon and beauty are a big part of pop culture.
Portal is a short and engaging video game centered around solving physics puzzles by creating paired ‘portals’ that let you teleport from one to the other.
In Diving into Data teachers use data-driven decision making (from multiple sources) to inform educational practice and continually increase impact.
In On the Write Track, teachers learn student conferencing and mentoring, with the goal of supporting student investment in the revision process.
In Project-Based Approaches: At the Core teachers create and implement project-based unit plans to actively engage students.
In Pursuit of Professionalism teachers learn communications, leadership, interpersonal dynamics, and professionalism skills for the classroom and school setting.
Super Columbine Massacre RPG simulates the 1999 tragedy. The controversial game has contributed to the conversation about video games as an emerging art form.
SimCity puts the player in the chair of a mayor to grow a city through building structures, increasing population, and increasing annual income.
Spaceteam is a mobile multiplayer game. The game connects two to four players and displays a unique array of buttons and functions on each player’s screen.
Spent, by McKinney and the Urban Ministries of Durham (2011), is an interactive narrative about what it takes for a single parent to make it through one month on $1000.
A multi-genre game in which players evolve an organism from a single cell, eventually creating a civilization that can explore the galaxy.
STEM Career Quest is an online game that helps players better understand STEM careers and how to reach those career paths.
he Free Culture Game attempts to clarify the importance and significance of copyright law through an interactive art piece (some writers avoid the word “game”).
The Last of Us is an action-adventure survival horror game that places the player in situations where their ability to survive and their moral choices will be tested.
The Migrant Trail places students in the shoes of either migrants traveling across the Mexican border or Border Patrol Agents, and allows them to explore some of the details of these perspectives. It is a single-player game that simulates trails and choices made by the chosen characters. If players choose to be migrants, they are […]
A series of life-simulation games where players maintain families of humanoid Sims, helping to sate their needs & desires as they live & love according to player choices.
The Walk is an immersive iOS game that tracks the movement of the player as they walk. Players embark on an action-packed journey to save the world.
In The Walking Dead, the player is thrust into the world of Lee Everett, a man accused of murder. A car accident leaves Lee searching for help to escape the zombies.
Thomas Was Alone is a 2D puzzle platformer about rogue AI rectangles who develop their own personalities. They find they must work together, whether they want to or not.
Watch Dogs is a game set in Chicago, Illinois and follows the story of hacker Aiden Pearce as he brings justice to those who killed his niece.
World of Warcraft is an MMORPG where players cooperate and compete with each other to fight enemies and solve problems collaboratively.
This meditative puzzle game is the sequel to the award-winning Zen Bound (iOS) with a few new mechanics to the wrapping rope, painting wooden sculptures play experience.