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Student-Created Educational Games (Part 2)

Did you know that games created by college and university students have had a significant impact on the gaming industry since its inception? It goes to show that our community is enriched by the contributions of game designers and developers from all walks of life! In this post, we will take a look at some more excellent examples of student-created educational games

From ARTĂ©: Mecenas, a game that teaches art history, to Plasticity, a game that raises awareness about the negative impact of single-use plastics on the environment, these games provide an excellent example of the power of game-based learning. If you are a student thinking about pursuing a career in game design or development, these games may inspire you to consider the field of educational game development!

via Giphy

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ARTĂ©: Mecenas

ARTé: Mecenas is a game developed by staff and students at Texas A&M University, designed to complement the university’s introductory course on art history. Players take on the role of the Medici family during the Renaissance and must build a system of social and financial ties to become patrons of the arts and participate in the creation of famous works of art. Featuring over 130 pieces by more than 70 artists and leverages historical circumstances, conditions, and events surrounding the Italian Renaissance, this game is a must-play for art history buffs. ARTé: Mecenas is available for purchase on Steam and a classroom version is available through Triseum

Tipi Kaga

When Carl Petersen was a student at Dakota State University, he created a video game called Tipi Kaga to help people learn the Lakota language. Tipi Kaga, which means “tipi builder” in Lakota, lets players learn the language while they build a traditional tipi using materials like poles, rope, and a hide canvas. Petersen, who grew up on the Cheyenne River Reservation, says he hopes the game will help people engage with the language in a more accessible way than traditional text or finding a fluent speaker. The game is currently available for free on itch.io through Petersen’s studio, Northern Plains Games.


Plasticity is an environmental-themed puzzle-platformer game that was developed by students at the University of Southern California, as part of the USC Dornsife Environmental Studies Program. Players step into the shoes of Noa, a young girl who sets out on a journey to find a better life in a world that is plagued by garbage and pollution. As players navigate through the hazardous landscapes, their choices have a significant impact on the story, gameplay, and the overall environment of the game. Plasticity was created with the intention of raising awareness about the negative impact of single-use plastics on the environment, wildlife, and human communities. The game received a 2020 Games for Change Award and is available to download and play for free on Steam!

The Armory

via ClarkNOW

Students at the Clark University Becker School of Design & Technology created The Armory, a video game that brings ancient weapons and armor from the Worcester Art Museum’s John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection to life. The game is designed to be fun and action-packed while still focusing on history. The students have gamified weapons and armor with different stats to boost the player as they take on enemies across different historical battles, such as the Battle of Nagashino in Japan.


Flow is a video game created by Jenova Chen and Nicholas Clark. Originally, the game was Chen’s USC thesis project and was released as a free Flash game in 2006. It was later reworked into a PlayStation 3 game by their development studio, thatgamecompany. In Flow, the player guides a worm-like creature through an aquatic environment, consuming other organisms to evolve. The game has no menus or guidelines and consists of two-dimensional planes stacked vertically upon each other. Some organisms are non-confrontational, while others are aggressive and can eat segments of the player’s creature to regrow their own. The game’s design is based on research into dynamic difficulty adjustment and the concept of mental immersion or flow.

When students create educational games, they illuminate concepts and issues that are important to them and their generation. If you’re a college or university student thinking about going into game design or game development, don’t forget about serious games! If you want to make a positive impact and diversify your skills in the game industry, pursuing a career as an educational game developer could be the right path for you. 

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