Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Game-Based Learning

Researches and Resources

A list of serious gaming/simulation conferences and associations is here.

Best Practices for Using Games & Simulations in the Classroom – A report from the Software & Information Industry Association.  Download here. (highly recommended reference for facilitating game-based learning).

The GameIT Handbook has been funded by the European commission, and provides a framework for games-based pedagogy. There are introduction for beginners and case studies, illustration of contexts for game-based learning for educators who are more familiar with the concepts.

Game-Based Learning Database of Resources – View or add to this community’s collectively-built educational games database from edWeb – Click here. (more than 100 games categorized by ages, purposes and sources…)

PowerMyLearning is a free online platform for K-12 students, teachers, and parents, developed by the national nonprofit organization, CFY. CFY selects the most effective digital learning activities available on the web and making them easily accessible and usable in one trusted place. A free account grants access to a world of smart and engaging resources, include  1,000+ thoroughly vetted academic games, interactive simulations, and videos tagged by subject, grade, and Common Core Standards. Other features are badges and playpoints to reward student usage, playlist to sequence activities and individualize learning, lesson plans to incorporate activities into instruction.

Games in Education (in wikispace) is a fantastic resource collection put together by Adrian Camm.

Game On: Increasing Learning though Online Games is a site by teachers that has resources, links, ideas, and games to use in education to help students get engaged and understand concepts. Games are sorted by topic  and by grade level under topic.

WOWinSchool is a project using World of Warcraft as the platform of Language Art and Math curricula for middle schoolers. All project materials, including a fully developed language arts course, aligned to middle grades standards, is now available under a creative commons license. (by Lucas Gillispie)

The Minecraft Teacher – a blog chronicles a teacher’s foray into using Minecraft in the classroom. The results were far from expected.

game-based learning

The Education Arcade explores games that promote learning through authentic and engaging play. TEA’s research and development projects focus both on the learning that naturally occurs in popular commercial games, and on the design of games that more vigorously address the educational needs of players. Working with top game designers from industry and with faculty across MIT’s five schools, researchers produced 15 game concepts with supporting pedagogy that showed how advanced math, science and humanities content could be uniquely blended with state-of-the-art game play. Download the white paper from TEA here “Moving Learning Games Forward“(creative commons) or check out this infographic made from the main ideas of it: About The Gamification of Education.

ORBIT, the Open Resource Bank for Interactive Teaching from University of Cambridge provides resources like : An Introduction to Games in the ClassroomMaking Games and Motivating Learners KS2Using the Game Spore to Motivate Learners KS3 … (and other interactive teaching methods) This project course from Vital, an innovative professional development programme delivered by The Open University, provides an opportunity for teachers to plan, carry out and evaluate a project in their classroom.

Simulation and Gaming Journals – For more than four decades,Simulation & Gaming (S&G): An International Journal of  Theory, Practice and Research has served as a leading international forum for the exploration and development of simulation/gaming methodologies used in education, training, consultation, and research. Published bi-monthly, S&G appraises academic and applied issues in the expanding fields of simulation; computer and internet mediated simulation, virtual reality, educational games, video games, industrial simulators, active and experiential learning, case studies, and related methodologies.

Center for Game Science from U. of Washington is focusing on games as an ideal mechanism capable of engaging people long enough to turn them into experts, and building the most effective human-enabling computer programs. The center will study automatic methods to guide this coevolution by creating self-adapting games that iteratively refine themselves based on large-scale data analysis of game play. Initially the center will focus on scientific discovery in biochemistry and bioengineering and creating student-specific learning games that cover key bottlenecks in early STEM education. The intention is to develop general set of principles applicable to all hard problems facing humanity. (check out their Games, Publications)

School of Interactive Games & Media at the Rochester Institute of Technology maintains a site that contains information about several related academic initiatives and explorations. Just Press Play is a “gaming layer” for undergraduate education, which invites students in RIT’s School of Interactive Games & Media to engage in a playful way with their educational environments and experiences.

Possible Worlds is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the goal of the National Research and Development Center on Instructional Technology is to demonstrate the potential of one approach to integrating digital games into teaching to improve student understanding of phenomena that are often the subject of scientific misconceptions. Four topics are addressed: photosynthesis, heredity, electricity and heat transfer. The games are designed to supplement the teacher’s regular curriculum.

GoGo Labs  is a learning technology lab in Boise, Idaho. We develop shake-it-up learning using participatory innovation. We engage educators and learners in experiences and environments that are empowering, engaging, challenging, and life-changing.  They engage us in how to design better educational tools and experiences to meet their needs. (Project Resources)

Games For Learning Institute was established to focus on the design of digital games as tools for teaching science, technology, engineering and Math. The aim of the research is to establish design patterns for developing high impact learning games. It’s supported by Microsoft research and The Motorola Foundation.

Educational Gaming Commons from Penn. State University is a centrally supported, state of the art facility designed to provide access to the latest games and gaming technologies.  It’s for researching gaming for teaching. Serious games developed from Penn. State univ. are in this page.

The Gamification of Education project is a research project directed by Dr. Joey J. Lee of the Games Research Lab at Teachers College. This site is of interest to educators, students, policymakers, and anyone interested in how game mechanics and game-like thinking can impact society for the better.

Game Studies is a non-profit, open-access, cross disciplinary journal dedicated to games research, it is published with the support of: The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), The Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences, IT University of Copenhagen, Lund University.

game-based learning

GREAT Project is a Long Life Learning project, supported by Leonardo Da Vinci EU programme, Transfer Innovation. GREAT aims to provide methodology and guidelines for using Game-Based Learning in education and training. More about the field research: Potentials of Using Game-based Learning in Training; A Detailed Field Research

List of Research papers on Game-based Learning from (by Lucas Gillispie)

Kurt’s Research page lists papers from Kurt Squire, an assistant professor at the University of  Wisconsin-Madison. His work has three overlapping components: (1) Researching learning through participation in game-based learning environments, (2) The analysis of games and game cultures in naturally occurring contexts, and (3) The design of original game-based media for learning.

Collection of research publications on self-determination theory in Virtual Environments and Video Games : here is a list with full PDF texts.


Educause’s 7 Things You Should Know About Gamification is an introductory resource for learning more about gamification.

Gamification in Education: What, How, Why Bother? (Joey J. Lee, Jessica Hammer, Teachers College Columbia University, NY)

A Neurologist Makes the Case for the Video Game Model as a Learning Tool (Edutopia)


Gamers Advancing Meaningful Education (G.A.M.E) is an online community of educators who game. At its core is an online synchronous gaming community. This intellectually curious network of educators develop curriculum, offer online open courses, webinars and F2F presentations on the opportunities and deeper learning that takes place in games. The Cognitive Dissonance Educator guild in World of Warcraft is the “home base” where this group regularly plays online. This community is involved in WoW in School, EduMachinima Fest, Virtual Worlds and Games UnSymposium, Games MOOC and open courses on P2PU. G.A.M.E. is for educators who game, want to learn how to game, and want to incorporate gaming strategies into teaching and learning.

edWeb Game-based Learning Community – The professional learning community explore how to integrate games into the learning process to provide higher engagement and achievement for students. It’s a forum where educators, publishers, and game developers can come together to discuss ideas and current practices, and to advance this emerging field.

Cognitive Dissonance (World of Warcraft guild: Sisters of Elune, Alliance) was chartered in December of 2007 as a group of educators exploring the concept of MMORPGs and their relationship to education. It has grown to a guild of colleagues and friends exploring the platform and experiencing the implications and applications to teaching and learning while having fun!

BrainPop GameUp is a new community aiming to help teachers and students “game up” for learning, seriously! There are selected learning games,  exhibition of games created by students and recommended tools to create games, and discussion on game-based learning.

Games for Change is the leading global advocate for supporting and making games for social impact. It provides an open platform for the exchange of ideas and resources between organizations and individuals from the social impact sector, government, media, academia, the gaming industry and the arts to grow the field.

The Gamification Wiki is the resource for information on Gamification and Game Mechanics. Gamification of Education is trying to collect information on applying gamification in education which is still under construction. is a community portal that collects games that aim at the creation of semantic content. Semantic games are games with a purpose. The idea behind such games is to provide incentives for a human being in terms of contributing to the often cumbersome task of creating semantic content.

Teaching Educational Games Resources from the Wiki of

Readings – A list of the reading you use in teaching about educational games including books, journal articles, non-journal articles, and news stories

Multimedia Materials – A list of the games and other multimedia materials you use in teaching about educational games

Technical Resources – A list of technical resources (software, games, game engines, etc.) that have been used in teaching about educational games

Classroom Help – Online classes, and the syllabi, schedules, and other materials you use in teaching about educational games

Additional Teaching Resources – Links to other resources that are useful to folks teaching about educational games (including conferences, academic programs, web sites, etc.)

Career Resources – Links to resources primarily focused on career options for students taking educational game courses

Game Topics – Foundational issues worth covering in courses

Glossary of Gaming Terms

Gaming and Libraries – What libraries are doing with games

Information about Specific Games

Second Life


World of Warcraft

Gaming wiki

Wikia Gaming is a very thorough wiki on various game types and game information.

ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) has games resources covering history, essays and guides, and exhibitions.


4 Responses »

  1. This is a great list! I am a little biased, but I would love to see EdGamer added. I have interviewed several people and groups that are on your list and even several you have missing. 🙂 Keep up the good work.

    Zack (EdGamer)


  1. Game-Based Learning | Transformational Teaching...
  2. Game-Based Learning | gamification for educatio...

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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