Empowering Through Serious Games: Boosting Growth Mindset with Innovative Training Programs

n the transformative realm of education, there’s a riveting concept that’s making waves: the growth mindset. Based on the implicit person theory (IPT), the idea of growth versus fixed mindsets hinges on how individuals perceive abilities. A growth mindset is rooted in the belief that abilities can be nurtured and enhanced, whereas a fixed mindset rests on the assumption that abilities remain static and unchangeable. The benefits of harboring a growth mindset, especially in learning environments, have been well documented. However, a groundbreaking study by Adame and team merges this potent idea with the engaging realm of serious gaming, unlocking a promising avenue for growth mindset training programs.

Growth Mindset: The Learning Catalyst

At the crux of the growth mindset is the empowering belief that skills and abilities can evolve through dedication and hard work. This perspective fosters resilience, encourages challenges, and fuels a passion for learning. While traditional growth mindset activities have championed this belief, the blend with serious gaming is an exciting evolution.

Gaming Meets Growth: An Experimental Dive

Adame and the team designed an engaging serious training game aimed at steering players’ beliefs about their abilities towards growth. The study encompassed 95 college freshmen, split into two groups: one played the serious training game, while the other engaged in growth mindset activities unrelated to gaming. The outcome? Students who indulged in the game showcased significantly higher growth mindset levels, both immediately post-game and six weeks later, as opposed to their counterparts who didn’t play.

Game Development for Growth Mindset Training: Why It Works

  1. Engagement: Games inherently captivate attention. They immerse players in scenarios that demand problem-solving, strategy, and skill application. This immersive experience, when combined with growth mindset training, reinforces the mindset through active participation.
  2. Feedback Mechanisms: Games typically include instant feedback. When applied to growth mindset training programs, this feedback system acknowledges growth, celebrates effort, and offers constructive strategies for improvement.
  3. Repetition and Practice: A game environment facilitates repeated exposure to challenges and scenarios. This consistent practice strengthens neural pathways, reinforcing the growth mindset belief.
  4. Scenario-Based Learning: Serious games simulate real-life scenarios. For growth mindset cultivation, encountering and overcoming in-game challenges mirrors the real-world application of adopting a growth perspective in the face of obstacles.

Expanding Growth Mindset Training: Beyond Traditional Activities

While traditional growth mindset activities undeniably play a crucial role in fostering this empowering perspective, the integration of serious gaming amplifies its reach and efficacy. A blend of fun, challenge, and valuable life lessons, these games can be a pivotal tool in modern educational environments.

Conclusion: Charting the Future of Growth Mindset Training

In a rapidly evolving educational landscape, leveraging innovative tools to instill valuable life skills is paramount. The study by Adame and the team emphasizes the transformative power of serious games as tools for growth mindset training. As educators, policymakers, and learners, it’s time to embrace this confluence of fun and learning, ushering in a new era where growth isn’t just encouraged – it’s gamified.


Adame, Elissa & Posteher, Karlee & Hansom, Alaina & Wilson, Scott & Cecena, Francisco & Thompson, William & Ralston, Ryan & Thomas, David. (2022). Serious Games and Growth Mindsets: An Experimental Investigation of a Serious Gaming Intervention. International Journal of Game-Based Learning. 12. 1-12. 10.4018/IJGBL.308787.

Photo by Samsung Memory on Unsplash

Discover Mindform on Steam

Dive deep into the world of esports with Mindform, now available on Steam. Experience the journey, sharpen your skills, and cultivate the mindset of a champion. The arena awaits!