Gaming SEL Lab
Games enable children to practice emotions in spaces that are free from actualized consequences. With thoughtful guidance, games can help children manage emotions, perspective-take, demonstrate empathic concern, and exhibit prosocial behaviors.
Emerging research suggests that social and emotional learning (SEL) skills are, in fact, teachable. The Gaming SEL Lab in the Educational Technology department investigates the rich opportunities that games have in supporting SEL skill development.
Read: Farber, M. (2021). Gaming SEL: Games as Transformational to Social and Emotional Learning. Peter Lang.
Follow Matthew Farber on Edutopia: https://www.edutopia.org/profile/matthew-farber
Time Society Chronicles: Independence!, a U.S. history-based game created with Erin Drake Kajioka: https://3sxp.itch.io/timesociety
Also, check out our Gaming SEL itch.io page: https://gamingsel.itch.io
Game Design Studio Toolkit, published by iThrive Games.
Museum of Me, What Remains of Edith Finch game-based curriculum, published by iThrive Games.
Bury me, my Love game-based curriculum, published by UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development.
Walden, a game EDU, game-based curriculum, published by USC Game Innovation Lab.
Research and Publications
- Farber, M., Erekson, J. (Spring 2023). Going beyond the page: Pairing children’s literature with video games. Children and Libraries, 21(1), 6-13.
- Farber, M., Merchant, W. (in press). Awkward moment. In Kat Schrier, Rachel Kowert, Diana Leonard, Tarja Porkka-Kontturi (Ed.), Learning, Education, and Games: 50 Games to Use for Inclusion, Equity, and Justice. Carnegie Mellon ETC Press.
- Farber, M., Merchant, W. (in press). Unlocking hidden rules of office hours: A game jam on the first-generation college students’ experiences. In Remi Kalir, Danielle Filipiak (Ed.), Proceedings of the 2022 Connected Learning Summit. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon ETC Press.
- Farber, M., & Merchant, W. (2022). Insights from investigating early childhood ebooks on literacy, cognitive development, and social and emotional learning outcomes. E-Learning and Digital Media. DOI: 10.1177/20427530221108538
- Mukund, V., Sharma, M., Srivatsa, A., Sharma, R., Farber, M., & Singh, N. C. (2022). Effects of a digital game-based course in building adolescents’ knowledge and social-emotional competencies. Games for Health Journal. 11(1), 1-12. DOI: 10.1089/g4h.2021.0138
- Farber, M. (2022). How games give players “the feels” (book excerpt). Journal of Games, Self, and Society, 3(1), 74-84. DOI: 10.1184/R1/12215417
- Farber, M., & Schrier, K. (2021). Beyond winning: A situational analysis of two digital autobiographical games. Games Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research. 21(4).
- Schrier, K., & Farber, M. (2021). A Systematic Literature Review of “Empathy” and “Games.” Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds. 13(2).
- Farber, M., & Rivers, S. (2020). Leveraging technology for SEL programmes. In N. Chatterjee, A. Duraiappah, & R. Ramaswamy (Eds.), Rethinking learning: A review of social and emotional learning for education systems (pp. 221-249). UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development.
- Farber, M., Williams, M. K., Mellman, L., & Yu, X. (2020). Systems at play: Game design as an approach for teen self-expression. Journal of Games, Self & Society. Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press. 2(1), 40-84.
- Farber, M., & Schrier, K. (2017). The strengths and limitations of using digital games as “empathy” machines. UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development.
In the News
- Can Video Games Teach People to be More Empathetic? Maybe. (The Washington Post)
- Harnessing Video Games to Cultivate Social and Emotional Learning (Connected Learning Alliance)
- Game On – Students Share UNC Experience Through Game Design Event (UNC Today)
- Mood Management Theory and Video Games (Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop)
- Game Design Studio Kicks Off on Campus for Two Weeks (UNC Today)
Partners and Collaborators