Core Principles

  • To serve the greater student population at York College by providing opportunities for game-based learning

  • To promote learning in mentored students by engaging them in the process of game design and experimentation

  • To provide instructors with tools to facilitate game-based learning in the classroom

  • To facilitate research in pedagogy and game-based learning


Transformative Games are designed to create experiences for learners that benefit their lives and the lives of those connected to them. These experiences must be fun and engaging to be successful, even if their ultimate purpose is serious in nature. Game mechanics can be used to inform, teach, and shape behavior. Games are excellent learning management systems that are capable of both teaching and assessment. The real-time nature of games allows them to occasion "teachable moments" for "just-in-time learning." Well designed games adjust task difficulty according to user performance, which facilitates sustained attention, engagement, and learning while minimizing boredom and frustration. Standard psychophysical staircase procedures can be utilized in games to optimize engagement and put the user into a state of "flow," where time seems to pass very quickly. Transformative Games strive to incorporate everything we know about psychology, neuroscience, education, and game design into the learning experience.

The Transformative Games Initiative is designed to unify like-minded educators, teachers, scientists, students, and game designers at York College. Additionally, we hope that our efforts will benefit those outside the college. The interest and support among the faculty, students, and administration has been substantial. Consequently, this organization will provide information about game-based learning, organize local efforts to incorporate games into the classroom, and analyze the results of these efforts in order to make improvements at the college. If you want to be included as a member or if you want to learn more about how games can be easily incorporated into your classroom, please view the Contact page.

Undergraduate Research

The Transformative Games Initiative works closely with the York College Office of Undergraduate Research to provide students with research opportunities.

Motivated students can collaborate on projects with faculty mentors and domain experts in any field. By engaging in the process of design, students further their understanding of a subject.

Research faculty can work with students to measure the efficacy of game-based learning in their area of expertise.