Center for Transformational Play

Research and Game Development Partnerships

The Center for Transformational Play (CTP) at Carnegie Mellon brings together world-class expertise from across the university to design, build and study transformational games.

The CTP uses the power of play to tackle educational, industrial and social challenges, from teaching children about robotics to helping adults with their aphasia rehabilitation exercises. Other projects include playful methods to support climate action, games to help with healthy sleep and leveraging game streaming for interactive learning — to name just a few of our many and diverse interests.

The CTP has the interdisciplinary expertise to connect across the university, from the educational gaming work at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) to the transformational game capstones at the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). We also collaborate with cutting-edge researchers in computer science, neuroscience, psychology, drama, and art — all areas where Carnegie Mellon’s excellence can help us advance our work on transformational play.

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What We Do

The CTP creates the community and resources to enrich and expand the transformational impact of games. Join us in the exciting work ahead!

Bring Together Our Work on Games

The CTP provides a space to connect with colleagues by:

  • Sharing relevant events, such as talks, game festivals or conference deadlines.
  • Hosting a speaker series focused on internal CMU research.
  • Hosting workshops to help our community build skills.
  • Providing internships, independent study credits and/or part-time jobs for students interested in games.
  • Supporting faculty who have relevant joint appointments (e.g., future joint HCII-ETC hires).

Provide Game-Development Infrastructure

The center makes it easier to create high-quality transformational games at a range of scales and budgets by:

  • Helping people navigate options available for games work at CMU.
  • Providing design review for internal CMU game projects.
  • Expanding existing playtest and prototyping infrastructure.
  • Developing games for internal and external partners.
  • Creating pipelines, tools and technologies for game development.

Support Interdisciplinary Game Research

We support interdisciplinary research related to transformational games, including the science of play, mechanisms of player transformation and novel game technologies by:

  • Hosting office hours to advise researchers from across the university.
  • Maintaining a library of transformational games, along with recommended reading and playing lists.
  • Cultivating data collection partners for real-world research deployments.
  • Raising money for transformational game projects.
  • Leading research initiatives in high-impact areas.

Conduct Outreach Around Game Projects

The CTP raises awareness of our game work, and helps our games have an impact in the world by:

  • Creating a pipeline for game festival submissions.
  • Publicizing our games to relevant communities.
  • Running a Twitch channel with regular programming on Games@CMU.
  • Supporting game publishing and entrepreneurship.
  • Identifying deployment partners.