College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Craig Anderson

  • Post-doctoral researcher, psychological foundations of education

  • Educational Psychology
    250 Education Sciences Bldg.
    56 East River Road
    Minneapolis, MN 55455

Craig Anderson

Craig G. Anderson, PhD, is a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota with a research focus on the cognitive influences of video game play. Currently, Craig works with the Learning Informatics Lab on the Playful Problem Solving Project investigating how young players solve problems in puzzle game Baba is You. Craig’s dissertation focused on how players of notoriously challenging video game, Cuphead conceptualize and react to failure. This research has produced new insights into a core aspect of game play, showing that players have a wide range of perspectives on what constitutes failure in a video game, new data-driven methodologies on how we can measure failure, and showed that some women increased in confidence of their ability to persist through a challenging game while some men decreased - highlighting an equalization of this gender gap in confidence to complete a challenging game. Craig also led multiple teams of graduate students while supervising the “Evaluation of the North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) Program” study at the University of California, Irvine. This work investigated the impacts of participation in this popular high school esports league designed to enhance students’ connections between their play and the skills that will help them succeed in school, their career, and in life. You can find Craig’s research published in game research, learning sciences, and cognitive science journals or proceedings such as Thinking Skills and Creativity, Science of Learning, Foundations of Digital Games, Digital Games Research Association, Games+Learning+Society, among others.

See Craig’s CV and connect with him through


Anderson, C.G., & Cullen, A.L.L, (2021) Failing to See a Difference: Closing a Gender Gap in a Challenging Video Game. Submitted for publication to the International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS).

Anderson, C. G., Dalsen, J., Kumar, V., Berland, M., & Steinkuehler, C. (2018). Failing up: How failure in a game environment promotes learning through discourse. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 30, 135-144.


Anderson, C. G. (2020). Game On: Mastery Orientation Through the Lens of A Challenging VideoGame. In the Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Virtual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society.

Anderson, C. G. (2020). Hits, Quits, and Retries: Measuring Player Responses to Failure in a Challenging Video Game. In the Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, ACM.

Anderson, C. G., Campbell, K., & Steinkuehler, C. (2019, August). Building persistence through failure: the role of challenge in video games. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (p. 34). ACM.