Command History as the Medici: Play ARTé: Mecenas on Steam

College Station, TX – November 8, 2018 – Triseum’s ARTé: Mecenas, the first game created by students in the LIVE Lab at Texas A&M, will be released to more than 90 million monthly active gamers on the Steam platform on November 16th.  ARTé: Mecenas transports players to the Italian Renaissance where they command history as the head of the Medici family, one of the most influential merchant and banking families of the era. True to history, players must balance relationships with powerful city-states, merchant factions and the Catholic Church or risk excommunication, exile and bankruptcy.

As players navigate their trade networks and relationships in ARTé: Mecenas, they must keep their financial status and reputation in check. By following the footsteps of the Medici, players become influential patrons of the arts, and experience the political, social and economic forces that shaped the Renaissance. To prosper, players must lead the Medici bank and family through risky ventures and political crises, commissioning and supporting works from upstart artists like Brunelleschi, Donatello and Raphael.

“The opportunity to connect with gamers on this worldwide stage is incredible,” said André Thomas, CEO of Triseum and director of the LIVE Lab. “There is a sense of sheer enthusiasm among Steam gamers and we can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Award winning ARTé: Mecenas was originally developed by student gamers in the LIVE Lab at Texas A&M University under the guidance of Thomas, who previously served as Head of Graphics for EA Sports Football games. The Steam version of ARTé: Mecenas is for entertainment purposes only. If interested in adopting the game for classroom use, please contact

At last count, Steam’s daily active user count had risen to 47 million, and this upswing could be attributed to its performance in ChinaARTé: Mecenas also is gaining ground in the Chinese market where it recently won a Game Academy Award at the Play Beyond the Gameexhibit at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Museum in Beijing.

Steam delivers access to thousands of popular games, from action to indie and everything in between. The platform was created by Valve in 2003 to serve as a digital content distribution channel before app stores existed. Today it remains widely used as a means to unite, share and play.

Triseum’s ARTé: Mecenas Earns Prominent Game Academy Award at CAFA’s ‘Play Beyond the Game’ Exhibit in China

BEIJING and College Station, TX – September 19, 2018 – A new exhibit, Play Beyond the Game, is underway at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Museum in Beijing, where an international crowd recently gathered for the opening to explore the culture, art, science and technology featured in video games. Presenting at the exhibit was National Academy of Science advisor and Triseum CEO, André Thomas, who also accepted a prestigious Game Academy Award for Triseum’s educational immersive art history game, ARTé: Mecenas®.

“It was an honor to be in the company of such imaginative and forward thinkers, and we are grateful for the award recognition from CAFA,” said Thomas. “The event was a tremendous celebration of gaming, providing an opportunity to see how digital technology and artistic creativity are merging in video games, as well as helping define and advance the future of game-based learning.”

Triseum’s participation in the exhibit added to its recent exposure in the Chinese gaming market. In June, Triseum announced a partnership with Tencent, a leading provider of Internet value-added services in China, to expand access to Triseum’s calculus game, Variant: Limits®. Tencent is publishing the game, which is being called the Calculus Adventure in the Chinese market, to bring entertainment quality learning games to players across China. Additionally, Thomas was invited to speak this week at the World Conference on Science Literacy in Beijing, which gathered more than a thousand people from government agencies, science organizations and businesses, universities, and research institutions. Thomas presented Variant: Limits at the event and talked about the importance of calculus engagement in STEM programs.

“China is playing a significant role in the growth of serious games on a global scale. We are excited to be a part of this revolution with some of the country’s top gaming insiders and thought leaders, expanding our footprint and growth strategy in China,” added Thomas.

In a recent article, Zhang Zikang, the museum’s curator, noted that video games are not simply forms of entertainment, but also an inseparable part of life today. He stressed that in the future, games that are not centered around entertainment, such as education games, will play an even more important role in people’s lives.

Presenting to a packed house at the CAFA exhibit opening, Thomas shared his insight in game design and development from his decades of work in the space, and specifically the importance of combining both active game play and engaging story lines with measurable learning goals in a game-based learning environment. Triseum’s educational video games, which have been developed in collaboration with the LIVE Lab in the Department of Visualization in College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, mirror the sophistication and imagination of some of the most popular entertainment video games on the market, while staying true to their roots in academic rigor, research and outcomes.

In collaboration with China’s Culture and Entertainment Industry Association, Play Beyond the Game offers a journey of discovery and adventure where visitors can connect with game producers, play both live and unreleased games, and share their own creative ideas when it comes to social and cultural aspects of video games. The exhibit discusses the combination of games with other fields such as art, education and medicine, aiming to explore the functional value and cultural significance of games as well as the development direction of digital entertainment education in China.

About CAFA
The Central Academy of Fine Arts, located in Beijing, is an academy where culture, history and art are flourishing, and where students and educators enjoys the best art resources in the world. CAFA, as a leading institution for modern art education in China, provides a rich land for those who wish to learn, experience and engage in creativity. It has nurtured quite a lot of pre-eminent artists over the past ninety years.

According to Teachers, Art History Game – ARTé: Mecenas™ Boosts Decision Making Skills, Creativity and Collaboration

The second webinar in our game-based learning validation study series recently aired, giving teachers a platform to share their insights from implementing our art history game, ARTé: Mecenas™, into their classrooms. The study followed classes in Norway, Poland, Portugal, Italy and Greece and was designed to empower participating teachers to consider new trends in learning models and investigate innovative technologies, all without losing site of learning outcomes.

The webinar was hosted by European Schoolnet and the replay is available here.

More than 470 students in 19 classes played ARTé: Mecenas over the 2017-2018 academic year. Collectively, teacher feedback revealed the interest and enjoyment students found in art history as a result of playing the game. The vast majority of participating teachers agreed that game had a positive impact on student motivation and engagement and one teacher even noted that the game was used an accelerator to learn the content.

During the webinar, instructors were asked the following questions and provided some keen conclusions:

What competencies did you look to foster in your students?

  • Students gained research and problem-solving skills, critical and reflective thinking skills, and communicative skills.
  • One of the most surprising take-aways was the creativity ARTé: Mecenas inspired in students, whereby they not only created instructional videos, but also their own imaginative scenarios, artworks and storylines.

What were students’ reactions to playing ARTé: Mecenas?

  • Students were surprised at first as games are not a typical medium in their classrooms; they quickly grew to appreciate the teamwork aspect.
  • Students loved that they could combine what they learned with each other, which made the learning experience more motivating and stimulating.

What was the impact of the game on student knowledge acquisition?

  • ARTé: Mecenas not only improved student decision making, it proved to be a valid approach to global knowledge.
  • Students learned through teamwork, were active in discussions, and supported each other to level-up in the game.
  • Students shared both knowledge and strategic thinking, as well as engaged in self-assessment.

What changed in the classroom after the implementation of ARTé: Mecenas?

  • Students realized they can learn, compete and have fun simultaneously.
  • Students gained an appreciation for the complexities of life, strategic thinking in a business setting, and the importance of collaboration.
  • Students engaged in a dialog about more than just the classroom content, but also the strategy behind the game.

Prior to our ARTé: Mecenas webinar, teachers also participated in a webinar in which they shared their insights from implementing our calculus game, Variant: Limits, into their classroom. The replay of that webinar is available here.

Both the executive summary and the complete report can be downloaded here. The study was conducted in partnership with Triseum and European Schoolnet and the results were evaluated by the University of Würzberg.

Triseum’s ARTé: Mecenas™ Game Boosts Students’ Knowledge Gain by Nearly 25 Percent

March 7, 2017 – Bryan, TX – Triseum’s game based learning development practices and rigorous design methods are creating a measurable impact on student outcomes. Newly released results from Triseum’s Fall 2016 research study aimed at measuring the learning efficacy of its ARTé: Mecenas™ game indicate that, after approximately two hours of game play, art history students who participated in the experimental group had a knowledge gain of 24.7 percent (p < .0001) from pre-test to post-test.   “Too often in art history we see students memorizing and regurgitating facts, but with ARTé: Mecenas, they are empowered to be a more active and engaged participant in the learning process,” said André Thomas, CEO of Triseum. “In developing this Renaissance learning game, we relied heavily on faculty, subject matter experts and instructional designers, in tandem with research, to not only understand how to teach the concepts, but also how to test them so we can make sure students are comprehending and retaining the material.”   “As faculty, we have limited classroom time to thoroughly convey the complexities that surround the works of art and the broader societal norms of the time period, yet by playing ARTé: Mecenas, students have the opportunity to understand the ideas and their relevance more deeply,” said Carey Rote, Professor of Art History at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. “ARTé: Mecenas gets students excited about the subject matter, enabling them to learn in a fun and competitive manner and truly experience the concepts that might be harder to grasp in a lecture format. My students’ enthusiasm for the game has been tremendous and they have achieved greater knowledge.”   ARTé: Mecenas is imaginative and sophisticated, yet also maintains academic rigor to enhance art history courses. The game transports students into the Renaissance era where they take on the role of a member of the merchant/banking Medici family, one of the most influential families of the time. True to the life of the Medici, students must balance relationships with powerful city-states, merchant factions and the Catholic Church to build and maintain a financial empire.   “We have incorporated ARTé: Mecenas into our curriculum again for the Spring 2017 term and the feedback we are getting from students and faculty is inspiring,” said Kelly M. Quintanilla, Ph.D., Interim President & CEO at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. “By allowing students to explore and develop innate insights through the game, they are more connected to and familiar with the subject.”   Triseum is committed to pushing the boundaries of educational games, making them as sophisticated and imaginative as their entertainment counterparts, yet preserving learning efficacy supported by data. ARTé: Mecenas adheres to rigorous scientific standards and the latest research. Purposeful sampling was used in Triseum’s recent study, which is detailed on its website. Participants were recruited from a pool of students in college-level art history survey courses (the target audience for the game). In total, 184 participants consented to join the study, and 173 participants completed the study and earned extra credit in their course for participating. The nearly 25 percent gain is practically significant (Cohen’s d = 1.14, large effect) in an educational setting for a single unit of complementary instruction.   Additionally, in Spring 2017, Triseum is conducting additional research studies within the state of Texas. Triseum is also seeking independent researchers to replicate the study.  If interested in conducting research on the Renaissance learning game: ARTé: Mecenas, please contact