Video game goals are important features of video games. Player’s interaction with goals can not only shape the gaming experience by evoking cognitive and affective reactions in players, but also lead to learning outcomes. However, there are few empirical studies on the effects of interacting with game goals, and no previous research has manipulated goal setting. In two experimental studies, participants were randomly assigned to one of the following five conditions: self-set goal repetitive play, assigned goal repetitive play, no-set goal repetitive play, no-set goal single play, and no play. Results show that playing earthquake preparedness video games generates significant learning outcomes; playing repeatedly with self-set goals yields greater learning compared to playing once with no-set goals or not playing; and cognitive reactions mediates the relation between goal interaction and learning. Implications of the results for the design and evaluation of future video games for learning are explored.