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New to Games

We believe strongly that actually playing video games and understanding the discourse around them are integral in identifying their impact.

However, getting started with video games—let alone games for impact—can be tough and confusing at first. We’ve put together a brief overview of selected Impact Games, Commercial Games, Articles, and Websites which highlight some key concepts that guide our work and the understanding of video games and the impact they can have. You might begin with the Video by Center Scholar and Games Expert James Paul Gee on video games, learning, and literacy.

“What is a video game? It’s a set of problems; It could be anything. [It] doesn’t matter what the problems are. All a video game is, is a set of problems that you must solve in order to win.”

– James Paul Gee, Video Games, Learning, & Literacy

James Paul Gee on video games, learning, & literacy.


Various articles that help illuminate the potential of games for supporting various types of impact.

Good Video Games & Good Learning

James Paul Gee

Why Educators Should Care About Games

Sasha Barab, Melissa Gresalfi, & Anna Arici

From Player to Designer:Engaging & Empowering Youth Through Making Video Games

Alan Gershenfeld

Teens, Video Games, & Civics

Amanda Lenhart, Joseph Kahne, Elien Middaugh, Alexandra Macgill, Chris Evans, Jessica Vitak

Websites to Explore

Games for Change

Founded in 2004, Games for Change facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts. Unlike the commercial gaming industry, they aim to leverage entertainment and engagement for social good. To further grow the field, Games for Change convenes multiple stakeholders, highlights best practices, incubates games, and helps create and direct investment into new projects.

Games for Health

Founded in 2004, the Games for Health Project supports community, knowledge and business development efforts to use cutting-edge games and game technologies to improve health and health care. Topics include exergaming, physical therapy, disease management, health behavior change, biofeedback, rehab, epidemiology, training, cognitive healt, nutrition and health education


Gamespot is a video gaming website that provides news, reviews, previews, downloads, and other information on certain video games.