Game Education Foundations and Institutes

Institute of Play

"We design experiences that make learning irresistible. At the core of the experiences we design are games, play and the principles that underlie them. We empower people to thrive as active citizens in a connected world."

  • Quest to Learn: A research and development document detailing the design and realization of a pioneering new public school model

  • Gamestar Mechanic: An online adventure game where players learn design and systems thinking fundamentals by designing, repairing and playing games

  • Playmakers: A series of videos and associated resources that shine a light on the experiences and innovations that are leading the way for learning design in the twenty-first century.

  • Games & Learning Reading List: A reading list grouped by theme, compiled by games-and-learning thought leaders

Game Desk

"GameDesk was created to develop a “next generation” model of education, revolutionizing the way we teach and learn. We are a research, game development, and outreach organization that has evolved out of seven years of research at the University of Southern California. We have developed, tested and evaluated next generation game curriculum and software throughout various pilots in schools and community centers in the Los Angeles area."

  • PlayMaker School:The PlayMaker model revolves around a student’s ability to learn through playing, making, discovery and inquiry.

Learning Games Network
"The Learning Games Network is a non-profit spin-off of the MIT Education Arcade dedicated to sparking innovation in games-based learning."

MIT's Education Arcade

"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."


"The STEM to STEAM initiative, championed by RISD President John Maeda, is supported by teachers, researchers, policy makers, students, and businesspeople from RISD and beyond. At the heart of the activity, a team of student research assistants work in the Office of Government Relations to apply their firsthand knowledge of Art + Design education to explore new avenues for STEM to STEAM."

While not expressly dedicated to games, their case studies offer unique approaches suitable to game development's multi-disciplinary character.