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About Impact Guides

Providing players, parents, and teachers the tools to understand play, inspire reflection, and stimulate transformation with the goal of building a more knowledgeable responsible, and empathetic citizenship. Impact Guides are designed to prompt players to think critically about their play—from the design and mechanics of the game to their own feelings to their everyday experiences—with a specific focus on the impact that these key moments can have.  The Guides are an invitation to reflect on personal experience and to share these ideas and impact with a larger community.

Playing with Purpose: Players, Teachers, Parents Guides

Impact Guides share key themes and a common purpose: to think deeply about the game, the player, and the world at large.  We recommend starting with the Player Guide first to explore the experience of the game and the central impact areas; the Teacher and Parent Guides add additional layers of reflection and context for adults to engage in younger players’ experiences and start conversations around their play. Click here for the Player Impact Guide Template.

  • Player Guides—Playing the game is key to understanding the impact it can have in the world. Player Guides highlight key themes and to frame them at multiple levels: how the game presents the theme, how players feel and experience it, and how it connects to the world around them. Themes can be overtly evident in the game, or can be more conceptually focused (for example, the theme of “problem solving” is central to both the mechanics and story of Portal; the theme of “sustainability” is not directly apparent in Minecraft but forms an important frame for understanding the game).
  • Teacher Guides—Teacher Guides extend the themes described in the Player Guides and includes reflective questions for teachers about their play.  These guides also include prompts for students to engage in classroom discussions or other reflection, and classroom activities centered on the key themes. Teacher Guides are intended to provide a framework for playing and talking about the game, but also for teachers to expand on the Guide to incorporate their own practices, interests, and curriculum.
  • Parent Guides—Keeping up with a child’s play can be difficult; technology changes almost as quickly as their interests. Parent Guides are meant to provide parents with some sense of the game and some questions to ask their kids about their play in order to start a conversation. We also provide additional context for the game, including introductory videos and descriptions of the game, on our website. In conjunction with these resources, Parent Guides let families play and share their thoughts about what their play means to them and to the larger world.