Life Is for Learning

Our games concentrate the direct personal learning experience you might get in life – were you not limited by resources, access, attention and mortality.


Our Secret Sauce

We focus your creative intelligence by structuring game challenges to coincide directly with learning objectives.


Our Recipe

To design these challenges, a team needs science and art, creativity and experience.

  • We take a deep dive – with expert guides –  into the problem space and return to the surface with a clear model of the learning objectives and the metrics of success.

  • We converse with real players to understand their thinking and to identify the game mechanisms that can enable change.

  • We propel the game forward in iterative cycles of design, build, play, analyze.

  • We assess the finished game against those initial metrics.

Dental Professionals

Brushing is not exactly dentistry – it is dental hygiene. Countless laboratories research dentistry, but there is only one research lab dedicated to dental hygiene. This is an emergent research discipline with only a few qualified scientists. We have caught a rising star:


Joyce Downs Flores, MS, RDH taught thousands of kids to brush their teeth as a working hygienist. Now she is a scientist at Old Dominion University’s Dental Hygiene Research Center.

Joyce Downs Flores

We also have several dentist advisers ranging from successful clinicians such as Dr. Jonathan Dubin (of Atlanta, GA) to accomplished industry innovators such as Dr. Paul Warren (of Procter and Gamble).

Dr. Jonathan Dubin

Our Principal Dentist is Dr. Robert L. Jacobson, with sixty years of direct experience with young patients. Dr. Jacobson now works with his son, his grandson and their many talented colleagues at GamesThatWork to translate his experience into the digital world.

Dr. Jacobson (middle) with his son and grandson


Dr. Stella Lourenco

National Institute of Health

Brush Up has been developed and tested with guidance from the National Institute of Health (NIH). Scientific review panels in the NIH and a committed team of mentors at the National Center for Dental and Cranofacial Research (NIDCR) helped us develop an experimental protocol that meets the highest standards. They guided us to assemble a team of all-star scientists.


Developmental Perception

Young children perceive a different world than we do. At Emory University’s Child Study Center, the Spatial Cognition Lab explores how children see and imagine space and how they handle tools. The lab’s principal investigator, Dr. Stella Lourenco, brings these insights to our team.



Real science has demanding standards. Dr. Traci Leong helps us hold ourselves to such standards. She is the Lead Biostatistician at the Emory and Children's Pediatric Research Hospital. She oversees our experiments and analyzes the resulting data.

Our History

Entertainment History

Ted Turner and his executives launched the studio in 1992. Turner Interactive developed transmedia properties with Turner’s entertainment, news and sports divisions. The studio released nine entertainment titles (Dinotopia, Pagemaster, Flintstones, Gettysburg) which enjoyed enthusiastic reviews and sales that broke into the top ten on the Ingram Chart (US).


Independent Studio

Nimble moves during merger of Turner, AOL and Time Warner took the studio private. Starting in 1997, Big Fun Development produced entertainment games (Pie Jackers) before concentrating on crossover titles (I See Sue, Reign of Ronin) which introduced learning into mass market games.


Applied Games

By 2002, the studio launched a full ‘serious games’ practice. Under the GamesThatWork label, it applied its game creation skills to institutional problems.


The US military (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines) quickly recognized the value. They  engage GamesThatWork to solve problems in tactical training, leadership development, cross-cultural communication and in the integration of intelligent machines into human warfighting teams.


Leading research institutions (NSF, NIH, NYU Medical Center) underwrite GamesThatWork’s  innovative games for health and security. Increasingly, the premiere Advanced Research Projects agencies (DARPA, IARPA) select GamesThatWork for large-scale programs to advance cognitive skill acquisition.


Educators work closely with designers at GamesThatWork to achieve precise learning objectives in multiplayer games online and in classrooms (Acton MBA).


Corporate clients, for whom GamesThatWork has created brand awareness and product introduction games (Coca Cola, Random House), now look to the studio to address their hardest problems with institutional learning and staff development (Boeing).


With youthful energies and experienced pathfinding, GamesThatWork seeks new challenges in its quest to improve awareness, behavior and happiness.