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Joan Ganz Cooney Center Hosts Panel on Designing Digital Play for Well-Being at 2023 Games for Change Festival

Sesame Workshop Joan Cooney Center Games

Nonprofit research and innovation lab The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop is convening a panel at the 20th Annual Games for Change Festival on July 18th,2023 to help shape digital play experiences for players of all ages. Representatives from The LEGO Group, Scratch Foundation, and Riot Games will join the Joan Cooney Center’s Executive Director Michael Preston to discuss emerging frameworks and provide examples that designers can incorporate when building games that foster positive play experiences and feelings of well-being.


The panelists include Kevin Bedau (Scratch Foundation), Jeffrey Burrell (Riot Games), and Carolina Giuga (The LEGO Group), who will address the imperative of diverse perspectives in game design, the tensions between responsible design with business pressures, and strategies for empowering game developers to design for well-being in their work.


“With the Surgeon General issuing an advisory about the effects social media and online spaces have on mental health it is more important now than ever before that companies come together to improve the well-being of billions of young people around the world,” said Preston. “The panel is an opportunity to dive into the challenges and opportunities for creating digital spaces that contribute to a sense of thriving.”


Games for Change attendees are invited to continue the conversation at an interactive design workshop on Wednesday, July 19 at 5:00 pm in the Microsoft Center in New York City.


The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit research and innovation lab that focuses on the challenges of fostering smarter, stronger, and kinder children in a rapidly changing media landscape. We conduct original research on emerging learning technologies and collaborate with educators and media producers to put this research into action. We also aim to inform the national conversation on media and education by working with policymakers and investors. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @CooneyCenter, Facebook and subscribe for updates.