Learning Games Research

Some of our favorite resources that answer the question, Why Games?

As we delve into the world of educational gaming, we’ve learned a ton from our partners and the following organizations. Please use the “white papers”  below to learn more about using Game-Based Learning pedagogy, Learning Games, and teaching game design in the classroom.

Research Papers

Teacher Attitudes about Digital Games in the Classroom
by Jessica Millstone
Joan Ganz Cooney Center 2012
 Internet Scale Experimental Design and Deployment for Educational Games using BrainPOP® (PDF) 
John C. Stamper, Derek Lomas, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Dixie Ching, New York University, New York, NY
Karina Linch, BrainPOP, New York, NY
Steve Ritter, Carnegie Learning, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA
In-Game, In-Room, In-World: Reconnecting Video Game Play to the Rest of Kids’ Lives (PDF) 
By Reed Stevens et al MIT
How Blogs, Social Media, and Video Games Improve Education 
by Darrell M. West
Brookings Institute
Policy Brief: Game Changer: Investing in Digital Play to Advance Children’s Learning and Health 
by Ann My Thai et al.
Cooney Center
Best Practices for Using Games & Simulations in the Classroom Guidelines for K–12 Educators (PDF) 
Copyright © SIIA
Moving Learning Games Forward: Obstacles, Opportunities, & Openness (PDF) 
Eric Klopfer, Scot Osterweil, and Katie Salen
The Education Arcade – MIT
The Instructional Power of Digital Games, Social Networking, & Simulations, and How Teachers Can Leverage Them (PDF) 
Eric Klopfer, Scot Osterweil, Jennifer Groff, Jason Haasusing
The Education Arcade – MIT
Can Video Games Promote Intergenerational Play & Literacy Learning? 
by Cynthia Chiong, Ph.D.
March 22, 2010


Anthropy, Anna (2012). Rise of the Video Game Zinesters. Seven Stories Press. ISBN: 1609803728

McGonigal, Jane (2011). Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make us Better and How they Can Change the World. Penguin Press. ISBN: 1594202850

Salen, Katie (2008) The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning.  MIT Press ISBN:  026269364X

Fullerton, Tracy (2008) Game Design Workshop, Second Edition: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games  Elsevier Press  ISBN: 0240809742

Johnson, Steven (2006). Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter. Riverhead Books. ISBN 1594481949

Gee, James Paul (2004). What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Macmillan. ISBN 1403965382

Koster, Raph (2004) – A Theory of Fun for Game Design – Paraglyph Press ISBN 1-932111-97-2

Aldrich, Clark (2005). Learning by Doing: A Comprehensive Guide to Simulations, Computer Games, and Pedagogy in e-Learning and Other Educational Experiences. Wiley, John & Sons. ISBN 0787977357

Kafai, Y. B. (1995). Minds in Play: Computer Game Design as a Context for Children’s Learning. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN, 0805815139, 9780805815139