Heralds New Era in Game Design Research!

The Values at Play research project launched version 1.0 of its website,, which offers a wealth of game design ideas and scholarship about games and human values. has also begun accepting submissions for its Social Impact Game Contest. The Values At Play project, a collaboration between Hunter College’s innovative Tiltfactor Lab ( and New York University, is an inquiry into the ideas and belief systems latent in video games.

For the next two years, the Values at Play team will continue their research into values in games through funding from the National Science Foundation. The team runs workshops, conducts research, and publishes results (papers, tools, videos, game designs, and actual games) on how game designers both unconsciously and consciously imbue their products with specific worldviews and values. One of its key goals is to provide a set of tools for the design community to assist in the systematic discovery and implementation of values in their work.

The recently launched website is the cornerstone of the Values At Play toolkit with resource for educators, scholars, students, and practitioners. On the site, visitors will find:
* Interviews with innovative game designers about current issues in design theory and the state of the art
* Game Blog: an active blog dealing with cultural issues and game design, and how the field of game design can be examined under the rubric of human values
* Game Tools: a selection of sample game design documents, the Grow-A-Game game design playing cards, and other emerging tools
* Curriculum: a complete four week curriculum for teaching value-centered game design that is currently implemented in a number of colleges and universities around the country
* Research and Resources: Conference proceedings, academic papers, and scholarly articles addressing the intersection of values and game design
* Game Library: a permanent, playable collection of values conscious games
* Social Impact Game Contest 2007: the first in a series of Values At Play sponsored game contests, this is an opportunity for non-professional designers to attempt serious issue game design. The contest is accepting submissions in three categories: Social Impact, Community is Revolutionary, and Greenwoods. Designers can create games that deal with an issue, value, or mechanic listed on the website, an issue specific to their community, or a game that addresses a social issue within the context of a big box retail store. Submissions will be accepted until January 1, 2008.