Too often educational videogames are narrowly focused on specific learning outcomes dictated by school curricula and fail to engage young learners. This book suggests another approach, offering a guide to designing games that integrates content and play and creates learning experiences that connect to many areas of learners' lives. These games are not gamified workbooks but are embedded in a long-form experience of exploration, discovery, and collaboration that takes into consideration the learning environment. Resonant Games describes twenty essential principles for designing games that offer this kind of deeper learning experience, presenting them in connection with five games or collections of games developed at MIT's educational game research lab, the Education Arcade.

Each of the games—which range from Vanished, an alternate reality game for middle schoolers promoting STEM careers, to Ubiquitous Bio, a series of casual mobile games for high school biology students—has a different story, but all spring from these fundamental assumptions: honor the whole learner, as a full human being, not an empty vessel awaiting a fill-up; honor the sociality of learning and play; honor a deep connection between the content and the game; and honor the learning context—most often the public school classroom, but also beyond the classroom.

“This highly original book provides a very valuable resource to designers of games for learning, teachers interested in using games, and students in games-for-learning programs.”

—Jan L. Plass, Paulette Goddard Professor in Digital Media and Learning Sciences, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University; Codirector, Games for Learning Institute


Jun 19, 2018Updated: Jan 22, 2019
Design Principles for Learning Games that Connect Hearts, Minds, and the Everyday
Jun 28, 2018
Some of the games described in this book are still available to play online!

Buying options for this title can be found here.

© 2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology All rights reserved.

Series: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation series on digital media and learning | Includes bibliographical references and index.

Identifiers: LCCN 2017038913 | ISBN 9780262037808 (hardcover : alk. paper)

Pub DOI: 10.21428/6205d1a8

Subjects: LCSH: Video games in education. | Education Arcade (Project)

Classification: LCC LB1028.75 .K56 2018 | DDC 371.33/7--dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017038913