Gaming for Social Change with 'Critical Role' and 'Dungeons & Dragons'

Fans have pledged $11M to a Dungeons & Dragons group because they champion safety and inclusion. Does this have larger, real-world implications?


Masks, of Course, Can Be the Subtlest of Traps -- as Seen in 'Ready Player One'

Online games make it easier than ever to design and test masks and to experience the hopes, fears, benefits, and harms of reinvention.


'Dungeons & Dragons' Is Cross-Training for the Mind

If I want cross-training for my mind, video games have great potential, especially if I play a variety of games. However, if my goal is being "ready for anything", tabletop RPGs are best.


Forgotten Realms


Dying Is a Learning Opportunity

A game's cues and feedback shouldn't quell the impulse to take a risk, shouldn't smother learning before it can happen. If XP measures learning, then losing XP for dying is wrong.


Can Transparency Motivate Gamers?

Transparency means that I can always find enjoyment in improving my personal high score when I play a game, whether or not I win or lose.


How Games Represent Learning: Repetition and Reward

The highest levels of successful learning can only be achieved through relentless practice at the edge of a learners' current abilities to succeed on their own.


How Games Represent Learning: Simulation

It's not only interesting how games simulate learning, but also how playing games may influence our beliefs about learning.


Why Gamers Love Guilds

At its best a guild helps members meet their fundamental human needs, like approval, affiliation, and self-determination


Gamers Believe in Getting Better

When we need to grind experience points, we seek out enemies at the edge of our current abilities. We seek optimal challenge.


Why Gamers Will Save the World

For strengthening our minds, games have at least three powerful advantages over TV or similar media.


Go Small: Find the Thrill in Humble Stakes

When a game does engage with what's sublime in being human, it often still reverts to staid larger-than-life tropes. However, what I'm looking for is the adventures of the everyday.


How Do Video Games Force Us to Gain Perspective?

Sometimes “hard” in a video game isn't just a difficulty setting.


How Video Games Engage the Imagination Muscle

Video games need to play more with incompleteness and ambiguity.

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