Developing Inclusive Games: Design Frameworks For Accessibility and Diversity

Matheus Cezarotto discusses our research team's newly published book chapter on accessibility and inclusive design. The chapter appears in the book Game Theory - From Idea to Practice. This publication is open-source and can be read in full at this link:

Games for Change 2020: Panel - Simple Accessibility Practices to Expand Games’ Reach

Speakers Barbara Chamberlin (NMSU Learning Games Lab), Allisyn Levy (BrainPOP), Peter Stidwill (Fablevision), and Matthew Kaplowitz (Bridge Media) discuss how their teams are implementing new accessibility practices.

Broadening accessibility in interactive media makes sense: legal requirements must be met; we want games to reach the widest audience; and it’s also the right thing to do. However, it’s not without its challenges. There are easy steps design teams can take to improve the accessibility of their games. In this presentation, panelists share some of the most common design needs, and offer specific examples of how they make small changes to their designs to expand use to different audiences.

Outbreak Squad: Keeping your Community Safe

Pamela Martinez discusses the new Learning Games Lab game Outbreak Squad.

Learning about the function of each branch of government is one thing: understanding how to use government resources to inform health policy is much more complex. Outbreak Squad, a game designed for grade 5 and above, uses health outbreaks to support civics engagement. Through the lens of food safety, it helps students think in systems terms about causes, effects, and mitigation of foodborne outbreaks.

Math UnConference: Supporting Student Play While They Are Away With Math Snacks Games

As part of the #MathUnConference in April, 2020, Barbara Chamberlin, Chris Engledowl and Ruth Torres Castillo with the Math Snacks team shared this hour workshop on Zoom demonstrating ways to encourage collaborative gameplay and learning, as well as activities for applying what is learned in games. Strategies work with all games, though the team used the expressions-building game Agrinautica. Agrinautica and other Math Snacks games are free to play on

It's OK to Play: Using Media to Educate our Stakeholders

At the 2019 International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) conference, Barbara Chamberlin presented the Ivan Parker Lecture on how media shapes food safety education. She shares many of the materials developed by the Learning Games Lab on food safety, as well as her own experience which makes the topic so personal.

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: What I've Learned from Developers at 12 Game Design Studios

Barbara Chamberlin of NMSU's Learning Games Lab shared this Ignite-style talk at the 2018 Connected Learning Summit. She reviews what she learned after visiting six studios, and interviewing developers at six additional studios.

The Secret Process for Making Games that Matter

Jesse Schell, author of The Art of Game Design, and Barbara Chamberlin, head of the Learning Games Lab, are collaborating on a project to find best practices for creating educational and transformational games. In this talk they describe what they have discovered about translating how players need to change into games they love to play.


  • Barbara Chamberlin (Game Designer, Professor, NMSU Learning Games Lab)
  • Jesse Schell (CEO, Schell Games)

Building a Bigger Tent: How to Make Media That Includes All Kids

Panelists at Games for Change, 2017, shared their examples for incorporating research, best practices and collaboration to create diverse children's media, using a checklist created by the Kids' Inclusive and Diverse Media Action Project (KIDMAP).


  • Sandhya Nankani (Founder, Literary Safari)

  • Barbara Chamberlin (Game Designer, Professor, NMSU Learning Games Lab)

  • Raul Gutierrez (CEO, Tinybop Inc)

  • Ingrid Simone (Executive Editor, Toca Boca)

What We've Learned About Creating Diverse Characters

Amanda Armstrong speaks about creating diverse characters for games and animations. Armstrong leads user-testing sessions and summer Think Tank sessions with students at the Learning Games Lab, providing hands-on opportunities for students to evaluate games, participate in design activities and develop their 21st century skills. Her research interests include the intersection of early childhood education, learning design and technology, and issues of culture and diversity.

10 Tips for Better Presentations: Simple Strategies for More Engaging Talks

Barbara Chamberlin shares 10 strategies she uses to create her visuals, and engage audiences with presentations, conference demos and keynote addresses.

Educational Theater: Rethinking "Educational"

In this 5-minute Ignite-style talk at iKids, Barbara Chamberlin shared her views on how we - as developers of children's media - can do more... by tackling the hard stuff in avoiding "Educational Theater."

Game-Based Learning: Trends, Research and Sheer Ridiculousness

Barbara Chamberlin spoke about the current status of research and trends in game-based learning, at the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) 2015 conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE).

Kids Media Development: What are we EVEN doing?

Barbara Chamberlin spoke at the Dust or Magic Design Institute in 2014 on "educational theater" and ways we - as developers of educational tools - can avoid creating resources that simply look educational but miss the more crucial issues.

Successful Strategies for User Testing

Columbia 3.0 is a week-long digital event for media professionals to promote skill in video, animation, mobile, games, and transmedia for Latin America. Barbara Chamberlin (with NMSU's Learning Games Lab) spoke twice: once about user testing in our games lab, and then the capstone address - designed to inspire game makers about the roles our games can have.

How Can Games Change the World?

Trying Very Hard to Make Games that Don't Stink

Barbara Chamberlin, with the NMSU Learning Games Lab, shares their user testing processes and strategies. The educational development studio involves content experts and game developers in their game design process, also employing a rigorous user testing process throughout development. The Games Lab developers host learners in their target audience for 2-week sessions during the summer, and on holidays throughout the school year. They train their "game lab consultants" in giving feedback, and have access for frequent testing. Barbara shares the underlying principles that guides their user testing, with recommendations on how they could be amended by others for testing, even in shorter sessions.

What I've Learned about Testing as Design

Barbara Chamberlin of the Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University shares some of the strategies behind user testing for game development. It is designed to help game designers create their own user testing approaches to meet their needs.

Educational Game Design Model (New Mexico State University Learning Games Lab)

Barbara Chamberlin, with the NMSU Learning Games Lab, shares the Educational Game Design model developed at NMSU. The educational development studio involves content experts and game developers in their game design process, also employing a rigorous user testing process throughout development. In this presentation, she explains the pre-development work they do in working from broad educational objectives, forming teams, immersing team members in both the content and game design, and guiding questions for refining educational objectives and driving game development.

  • Grand Challenges of App Design
    In an evening talk at the 2012 Dust or Magic conference, Barbara Chamberlin delivered a "call to action" for app developers to consider the lasting impact their products have on children.

Improving Academic Performance through Exergames

In this presentation shared at an inservice for Las Cruces Public Schools, Dr. Barbara Chamberlin provides on overview on exergames, shares research on the impacts of activity on classroom performance, and gives recommendations on how to implement exergames (also called "active video games") into classroom learning.

Helping Developers Create Quality Media: New Ways to Create Touch-Screen Apps to Reach Learners

As part of the Fred Rogers' Center's work on defining quality media, Barbara Chamberlin (with NMSU's Learning Games Lab) drafted these recommendations on how we can help developers create touch-screen apps that reach learners in new ways.

Who Are We and Where The Heck Is Las Cruces?

Barbara Chamberlin, with NMSU Media Productions (and the Learning Games Lab) explains the most frequently asked questions about the professional media work done at New Mexico State University.

Tablets, Smartphones, Computers and Other Devices as an Important Part of a Child's Development

Promotional Videos

Treadsylvania - ATV Safety Game from New Mexico State University Learning Games Lab

Playable at, "Treadsylvania" is a Web-based interactive game, designed to help learners ages 8-18 understand how to ride All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) safely. Treadsylvania isn't your traditional ATV training program, but instead, it is a fun, visually appealing adventure game that can be played in short bouts (less than an hour).


  • Interview: "Games That Teach" interview of Barbara Chamberlin (Learning Games Lab), Peter Stidwill (Learning Games Network) and Allisyn Levy (BrainPop / GameUp)