Make your classroom feel more like a game

Welcome! I’m Ash Brandin (Mx./they/them); most of my content lives on my Instagram account. I began researching video games and music education while completing my Masters in Music Education in 2011, but I found nearly no research on implementing gaming-based strategies in a classroom, let alone a music classroom. I assumed the research I was looking for might be found in gaming spaces, so I began attending conferences and conventions in search of an educator advocating for creating gaming-inspired classrooms. Unfortunately, all I found were sales pitches; most presentations were being given by games companies promising huge educational benefits by implementing their strategies. The problem? There wasn’t a teacher involved in these presentations, and without teacher knowledge these ideas felt at-odds with the authentic experiences I wanted to create. So I decided to do it myself.

I knew I loved to play video games, and I knew my students did too. I wanted to find out why we were so motivated to play games, and how to harness that power in my classroom. I took my research and ideas and presented them in a talk titled “You Have Died of Dysentery: Meaningful Gaming in Education,” which I have given at 10 conferences in the US. My follow-up talk, “Assessor’s Creed: Integrating Games in the Classroom” followed a year later. This website shares my ideas, some of the ways I create game-like classrooms, and links to my presentations. If you want something beyond what you see here, please reach out.

Areas of Focus

Why and how should we use games?

Many teachers envy, (and sometimes resent) the focus and attention students spend on Fortnite, so how do we bring that focus to our content? Visit to learn more and to see examples of what games and game structures I bring into my classroom.


How can an achievement structure in a classroom increase intrinsic student motivation? Visit to find out, and to see examples from my own teaching.

Talks and video

Want to see details and video of my talks on video games and education? Interested in my slide decks or research? Find that here.


Interested in bringing games or games structures into your classroom or school? Want more ideas or details? Please contact me directly and we can talk more.


“Life is like a video game: if you find yourself encountering harder and harder obstacles, you’re probably headed in the right direction. ”