Recently, our team had the opportunity to work with a group of talented Brown University students on a two-week ‘winternship’ sprint to explore gamification in education. Our goal for the sprint was to develop a prototype for a gamified metaverse that could help to engage, motivate students to learn and help solve world problems using the framework of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We knew that we had a talented team of students to work with, and we were excited to see what they could come up with.

The Winternship is sponsored by Brown’s Career Center in the Careers for the Common Good (Careers in the Common Good | CareerLAB ( department and is the second annual program where Brown funded internship spots for students to be able to come work with us during their winter break.

The sprint began with a “Dreamstorming”session where we discussed different ideas for the metaverse and how we can tokenize the game. We encouraged the students to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions that would engage players and make learning more fun. Over the next few days, the students worked tirelessly to develop their ideas and create a prototype.

One group developed a prototype of the metaverse that allowed students to explore the various aspects they could include in the metaverse such as avatar / costume design and other elements that translate to learning about and accessing survival tools to prepare for climate and other disasters. Another group worked on tokenization of the metaverse to help fund the best ideas to accept into our 3 month Dream Tank accelerator in Baja, Mexico.

The energy in the room was contagious as the students worked on their projects. They were constantly bouncing ideas off of each other, refining their designs, and testing out new features. We were amazed by their enthusiasm and their ability to work together as a team.
At the end of the two-week sprint, the students presented their prototypes to the team. The audience was impressed by the quality of their work and the creativity that they brought to the table.

Overall, our experience working with the Brown University students was rewarding and enjoyed helping unleash their energy, creativity, and passion for a new form of education in action. It was a great reminder that the next generation of innovators is full of brilliant minds and that there are many exciting developments on the horizon for gamification. We are excited to see where these students’ careers will take them, and we feel lucky to have been a part of their journey.


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Watch the DEMO DAY Replay here: Island17 Winternship 2023 Full Edit
Review the DEMO DAY presentation deck here: DECK