About Values at Play

Values at Play investigates how designers can be more intentional about the ways in which they integrate human values into their game-based systems.

Since 2005, our team has tested and created a values based, human centered designed college curriculum that is openly available on this site. We also develop novel games which integrate values and tools for other designers and learners. The team’s digital game LAYOFF attracted over 1 million players in its first week of release and educated players about the financial crisis. Our board game VEXATA helps middle school students learn to “read” game mechanics and develop a game literacy with values in mind. Finally, the urban games PHOTOPOLIS and the Massively Multiplayer series explore how players can envision human values as they manifest in everyday life across cultures, and was launched with players in New York, Beijing, and Shanghai.

Our Grow-a-Game Card set, featured in several research studies, is available for purchase!

The Book

Research papers

Our ambition is to harness the power of games in the service of humanistic principles. Aware of the tremendous and wide-ranging impact games have in our world, the Values at Play™ (VAP) research project seeks to assist and encourage designers in creating games that further the understanding and appreciation of such values as equality, diversity, creativity, and many more–and how we experience values through play.