Archive for November, 2016

Bio Constance

Posted on: November 21st, 2016 by jsruesch No Comments

Constance Steinkuehler is a Professor at the University of California, Irvine. In 2011-2012, she served as Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) where she advised on national initiatives related to games. Policy work there included the coordination of cross-agency efforts to leverage games toward national priority areas (e.g. childhood obesity, early literacy, STEM education) and the creation of new partnerships to support an ecosystem for more diversified innovation in commercial and non-commercial games.


Constance’s research is on cognition and learning in commercial entertainment games and games designed for impact. Current interests include neuroscience and games (particularly in the areas of attention and emotional and social well-being), learning analytics (informal scientific reasoning, problem-solving, so called “non-cognitive” skills such as interest and persistence), and the development of mixed methodologies for online discourse analysis. Her work has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation, the National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. She has published over twenty peer reviews publications on games and learning, three edited books three special issues of peer reviewed academic journals focused on the intellectual life of games, and the 2009 National Academies of Science report entitled Learning Science: Computer Games, Simulations, and Education. Game titles include Tenacity and Crystals of Kaydor.


Constance has a PhD in Literacy Studies, an MS in Educational Psychology, and three Bachelor Degrees in Mathematics, English, and Religious Studies. Her dissertation was a cognitive ethnography of the MMOs Lineage I and II where she served as siege princess for the LegendsOfAden guild.

Bio Tracy

Posted on: November 21st, 2016 by jsruesch No Comments

Tracy Fullerton, M.F.A., is an experimental game designer, associate professor and chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she directs the Game Innovation Lab. This design research center has produced several influential independent games, including Cloud, flOw, Darfur is Dying, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, and The Night Journey, a collaboration with artist Bill Viola.


Tracy is the author of “Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games,” a design textbook in use at game programs worldwide, and holder of the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair in Interactive Entertainment. Recent projects include Participation Nation, a history and civics game funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and developed in collaboration with Activision-Blizzard and KCET; Collegeology, a suite of college preparation games funded by the Department of Education, the Gilbert Foundation and the Gates Foundation; and Walden, a simulation of Henry David Thoreau’s experiment at Walden Pond which is supported by an NEA arts in media grant.


Prior to joining USC, she was president and founder of the interactive television game developer, Spiderdance, Inc. Spiderdance’s games included NBC’s Weakest Link, MTV’s webRIOT, The WB’s No Boundaries, History Channel’s History IQ, Sony Game Show Network’s Inquizition and TBS’s Cyber Bond.


Before starting Spiderdance, Tracy was a founding member of the New York design firm R/GA Interactive, Creative Director at the interactive film studio Interfilm and a designer at Robert Abel’s early interactive company Synapse. Tracy’s work has received numerous industry honors including an Emmy nomination for interactive television and Time Magazine’s Best of the Web.

Bio Andrew

Posted on: November 21st, 2016 by jsruesch No Comments

Andrew Phelps is the founder and Director of the RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC). He is also the founder and former Director of the School of Interactive Games & Media at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. He is the originator of the Masters of Science in Game Design & Development within the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, as well as the Bachelors of the same name, both of which are nationally ranked in the top 10 by the Princeton Review. His work in games programming education has been featured in The New York Times,, USA Today, National Public Radio, IEEE Computer, and several other articles and periodicals. He regularly publishes work exploring collaborative game engines and game engine technology and maintains a website featuring his work as an educator, artist, programmer, and game addict. Primary research and teaching interests include online gaming, electronic entertainment, 3 dimensional graphics and real time rendering, virtual reality, and interactive worlds. He holds the rank of Professor at the Institute.

Bio Drew

Posted on: November 21st, 2016 by jsruesch No Comments

Drew Davidson is a professor, producer and player of interactive media. His background spans academic, industry and professional worlds. He is interested in stories across texts, comics, games and other media.


Drew is the Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University and the Founding Editor of ETC Press and its Well Played series and journal. He helped create the Sandbox Symposium, an ACM SIGGRAPH conference on video games and served on the IGDA Education SIG and serves on many advisory, editorial and review boards as well as judge and jury panels. He is the lead on several grants with Macarthur and Gates, and has written and edited books, journals, articles and essays on narratives across media, serious games, analyzing gameplay, and cross-media communication.

Bio Katherine

Posted on: November 21st, 2016 by jsruesch No Comments

Katherine Isbister is a Human Computer Interaction and Games researcher who studies and designs digital games and other playful computer-supported experiences. Her focus is emotion and social connection–understanding the impact of design choices on these qualities, and getting better at making and evaluating digital experiences that support and enhance social and emotional experience. Her lab group’s work has been cited in Wired, Scientific American, and NPR, among other venues.

Isbister is currently a full professor in the Department of Computational Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she is a core faculty member in the Center for Games and Playable Media. Until June 2015, she was an associate professor jointly appointed between the Computer Science department at New York University’s School of Engineering in Brooklyn, and the NYU Game Center, and was the founding Research Director of the Game Innovation Lab at NYU’s School of Engineering.
After completing a Ph.D. at Stanford University, where she studied Communication as well as Human-Computer Interaction, Isbister worked in research labs in Japan, Sweden, Denmark, and the U.S., and in software start-ups and design consultancies (past clients include Microsoft, Paramount, BMW, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and others), in addition to being a research professor. Along the way, she has written several books: Better Game Characters by Design,Game Usability, and most recently, How Games Move Us. Better Game Characters was nominated for a Game Developer Magazine Frontline Award. In 1999, she was selected as one of MIT Technology Review’s TR100 Young Innovators most likely to shape the future of technology.

Bio Jonathan

Posted on: November 21st, 2016 by jsruesch No Comments

Jonathan Elmergreen is the Executive Director for the Higher Education Video Game Alliance, the international professional association for faculty, students, and institutions that work in video games, interactive media, and digital media. In his work with The Alliance, he serves members of the games and higher education community through field building, academic services, public advocacy, and policymaker engagement. Under Jonathan, membership has grown to represent over 310 universities worldwide, and HEVGA has become a global leader and voice in games through strategic global partnerships with governing bodies, agencies, foundations, associations, and organizations and a strong network of esteemed fellows, scholars, and members.


Prior to HEVGA, Jonathan worked at the Games+Learning+Society Center at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in both executive administration and research, helping to implement the vision of the co-directors, Constance Steinkuehler and Kurt Squire. Here he strategically planned key meetings and events with high-profile leaders, oversaw multi-team projects, and managed large budgets and grants. Elmergreen’s academic background is in games and learning, social interaction, conversation analysis, and ethnography, and has researched areas ranging from games and literacy to interactions between doctors and terminal cancer patients. Throughout his academic career, Jonathan has received several research grants and awards, served as a conference reviewer, and been a leading member of numerous committees and advisory boards. In his scholarly work, he has been published in three peer-reviewed proceedings, one book chapter, and is currently working on multiple professional reports based on HEVGA’s work. He has given over 15 peer-reviewed and invited presentations and was an invited participant to the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Institute for Law and Global Development ‘ideas festival’ in 2018.


While concurrently working at the Games+Learning+Society Center, Jonathan made a permanent mark on LGBT advocacy, activism, and policymaker engagement at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In 2008, he led an initiative to overhaul policies within UW-Madison’s University Housing to address the disparity and isolation LGBTQ students, particularly trans students, felt in university housing. Through a years long process that involved garnering strong support from tenured faculty, chief housing staff, and campus administrators, he worked with a group of students to successfully lobby for the creation of a fully fledged LGBTQ and gender Learning Community with dedicated dorm rooms on its own floor and with its own staff, one of the first of its kind at a public university.


Outside of the university, Elmergreen has served as the president of a scholarship foundation to support college students, been the co-founder of a climate change carbon mitigation app, the director of a gaming convention, and served in AmeriCorps.


Jonathan Elmergreen is the Executive Director for the Higher Education Video Game Alliance, the international professional association for faculty, students, and institutions that work in video games, interactive media, and digital media. In his work with The Alliance, he serves members of the games and higher education community through field building, academic services, public advocacy, […]