The Tiltfactor Lab is an innovation studio dedicated to designing and studying games for social impact. It was founded by Mary Flanagan.
We are a human-centered laboratory asking the big, important questions about where technology is heading, and how we might improve it to create a more just, equitable, and innovative society. We emphasize human values in our game, looking at gender and technology, empathy in games, and novel educational methods.
Tiltfactor is the first academic center to focus on critical play, a method of using games and play to investigate issues and ideas. Our mission is to research and develop software and playful art that provoke social change. We are interested in how designers integrate moral, social, and political values into their games, whether intentionally or inadvertently, and how players interpret these values. We use an interdisciplinary approach in designing our games.
With our guiding mission of creating social impact, we research and create computer games, board games, card games, and urban games. Since starting out as the first academic game lab in New York City, Tiltfactor has evolved to take on a range of game and software initiatives. Now located at Dartmouth College, Tiltfactor creates games that are supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Microsoft Research, and the National Science Foundation.
We develop games aimed to promote health, social issues and educational initiatives. Our design process focuses on how designers can more intentionally integrate human values into their games. In ZOMBIEPOX, an evolution of POX: Save the People, players fight the spread of zombies that threaten to take over the town, significantly increasing their positive attitudes towards vaccination, as well as systems thinking abilities. Buffalo, a name-dropping party card game of quick wits and zany combinations, has been shown to reduce players' prejudices. Awkward Moment places players in terrifically awkward situations, while reducing their biases. 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 while having fun. The urban games PHOTOPOLIS, Massively Multiplayer Soba, and Massively Multiplayer MuShu explore how cultural values impact players' everyday lives. The Adventures of Josie True provides an internet adventure for middle school girls with cool science and math games. Check out our website for the latest Tiltfactor games and news!