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HEVGA Announces 2022 Fellows

Irvine, CA – June 16, 2022 – The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA) today announced its 2022 HEVGA Fellows at the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Conference. Eight new members were inducted.

Established in 2017, HEVGA’s Fellows Program recognizes senior scholars in the games domain who have made significant contributions to the field in design, theory, or research. HEVGA Fellows are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to games-based research and design in higher education. Fellows serve as integral ambassadors for the organization and are inducted as lifetime members.

Because fellowship is achieved by election, there is no fellowship application process and nominations may only be submitted and confirmed by current Fellows. Consideration of a candidate begins with their nomination, followed by an extensive and careful vetting process that results in a final ballot of current Fellows.

In 2022, HEVGA’s Fellows inducted eight new members:


Mirjam Eladhari
Associate Professor – Stockholm University
Mirjam Palosaari Eladhari is an associate professor at the Department of Computer and System Sciences (DSV) at Stockholm University (SU) in Sweden where she teaches game design, artificial intelligence (AI) , and game research methods. Her work connects AI, game design, interactive narrative and computational expression. A main theme of her research is co-creation, in particular how players can add stories and elements from their real lives in order to help them reflect on their own existence and gain new perspectives.

Mirjam has worked as a lead game designer and programmer both in the industry and in various research projects, such as the EU project C2Learn. Mirjam is a board member of HEVGA and ARDIN, and active member of the EU project INDCOR (Interactive narrative design for complexity representation) as well as an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Games. During 2021 she was an independent expert for the EC, in regards to the “A European AI On Demand Platform and Ecosystem” (AI4EU) a project feeding into a new and comprehensive strategic research innovation agenda for Europe. Mirjam’s dissertation was in computing science (Teesside University, UK, 2010), and included work done at UC Santa Cruz, Georgia Institute of Technology and Tokyo Institute of Technology. She explored, by making prototypes, characterisation and story construction in MMO’s focusing on character/agent AI.

At the moment (2022) she is starting up the project PSP (Platform for Smart People) together with her colleagues at SU and KTH. PSP will create a platform using IoT technologies and machine learning helping people with cognitive diversities, such as autism, in their everyday lives. Besides, she works as an independent game designer under the label Otter Play. Mirjams hobby is drawing and painting.


Lindsay Grace
Associate Professor, Knight Chair – University of Miami
Lindsay is Knight Chair in Interactive Media and an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Communication. He is Vice President for the Higher Education Video Game Alliance and the 2019 recipient of the Games for Change Vanguard award. Lindsay’s book, Doing Things with Games, Social Impact through Design, is a well-received guide to game design. In 2020, he edited and authored Love and Electronic Affection: a Design Primer on designing love and affection in games

His work has received awards and recognition from the Games for Change Festival, the Digital Diversity Network, the Association of Computing Machinery’s digital arts community , Black Enterprise and others. He authored or co-authored more than 50 papers, articles and book chapters on games since 2009. His creative work has been selected for showcase internationally including New York, Paris, Sao Paolo, Singapore, Chicago, Vancouver, Istanbul, and others. Lindsay curated or co-curated Blank Arcade, Smithsonian American Art Museum’s SAAM Arcade, the Games for Change Civic and Social Impact and others.

He has given talks at the Game Developers Conference, SXSW, Games for Change Festival, the Online News Association, the Society for News Design, and many other industry events.

Between 2013 and 2018 he was the founding director of the American University Game Lab and Studio. He served as Vice President and on the board of directors for the Global Game Jam™ non-profit between 2014-2019. From 2009 to 2013 he was the Armstrong Professor at Miami University’s School of Art. Lindsay also served on the board for the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) between 2013-2015.


Kishonna Gray
Associate Professor – University of Kentucky
Kishonna L. Gray is an Associate Professor in Writing, Rhetoric, & Digital Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. She is an interdisciplinary, intersectional, digital media scholar whose areas of research include identity, performance and online environments, embodied deviance, cultural production, content creation, streaming, and Black Cyberfeminism.

Dr. Gray is the author of Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming (LSU Press, 2020). She is also the author of Race, Gender, & Deviance in Xbox Live (Routledge, 2014), and the co-editor of two volumes on culture and gaming: Feminism in Play (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2018) and Woke Gaming (University of Washington Press, 2018).


Souvik Mukherjee
Assistant Professor – Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
Dr Souvik Mukherjee is assistant professor in Cultural Studies at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta, India and a pioneering games studies scholar from the Indian Subcontinent. In his research spanning two decades, he looks at a diversity of topics starting with a poststructuralist reading of videogames as storytelling media, videogames as colonial and postcolonial media, videogame production studies in the Indian Subcontinent and currently, Indian boardgames and their colonial avatars. Souvik is the author of two monographs, Videogames and Storytelling: Reading Games and Playing Books (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) and Videogames and Postcolonialism: Empire Plays Back (Springer UK 2017), as well as many articles and book chapters in national and international publications. His upcoming book, Videogames in the Indian Subcontinent (Bloomsbury India) is in press, currently.

He has been a board-member of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) and a founder-member of DiGRA India and DHARTI, the Digital Humanities group in India. Souvik has been named a ‘DiGRA Distinguished Scholar’ in 2019. He is also an affiliated senior research fellow at the Centre of Excellence, Game Studies at Tampere University.

His other interests are (the) Digital Humanities, Poststructuralist theory, Posthumanism and Early Modern Literature. His databases on the Dutch Cemetery at Chinsurah, the Scottish Cemetery in Kolkata and the nineteenth-century Bengali industrialist, Mutty Lall Seal are all available open-access.


Soraya Murray
Associate Professor, Film and Digital Media – University of California at Santa Cruz
Soraya Murray is an interdisciplinary scholar of contemporary visual culture, with particular interest in film, art, and video games. Murray holds a Ph.D. in art history and visual studies from Cornell University, and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine. She is an Associate Professor in the Film + Digital Media Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Her writings have been widely anthologized nationally and internationally, and published in journals in the areas of contemporary art, film and digital culture. Murray’s book, On Video Games: The Visual Politics of Race, Gender and Space (I.B. Tauris, 2018, paperback 2021), considers video games from a visual culture perspective, and how they both mirror and are constitutive of larger societal fears, dreams, hopes and even complex struggles for recognition. Murray is currently co-editing an anthology with TreaAndrea Russworm on antiracist futures in games and play. She is also completing a book on contemporary cinema, difference, and the technological imaginary. Murray is a member of the critical/historical game studies journal ROMchip’s editorial group.


Lisa Nakamura
Professor – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Lisa Nakamura is Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor of American Culture and the founding Director of the Digital Studies Institute at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is the author of several books on race, digital culture, and identity.


Jaakko Stenros
University Lecturer – Tampere University
Jaakko Stenros (PhD) is a University Lecturer at Tampere University. There he runs the international Master’s Programme in Game Studies and researches at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies. He has published ten books and almost a hundred articles and reports, and has taught game studies for well over a decade. Stenros studies play and games, his research interests include norm-defying play, role-playing games, game rules, queer play, game jams, and playfulness. Stenros has also collaborated with artists and designers to create ludic experiences and has curated many exhibitions at the Finnish Museum of Games. University of Turku has awarded Stenros the Title of Docent in 2019 in Game and Play Studies.


Emma Witkowski
Senior Lecturer – RMIT University
Emma Witkowski is a senior lecturer at RMIT University. She teaches game cultures, qualitative methods, and esports practices from a socio-phenomenological standpoint. Emma’s research explores high performance digital game worlds, and she has published widely on the intersections of these worlds and expertise, gender, media sports, embodiment, and the institutionalisation of esports in education, nonprofit and commercial sectors.
She is an academic consultant across government departments and for professional esports and sports organisations. As a director of Order Esports, and board member of the Australian Esports Association and the New Zealand Esports Federation women’s sub-committee, she represents the position of discrimination-free and sustainable esports.

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Souvik Mukherjee — Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta

Dr Souvik Mukherjee is assistant professor in Cultural Studies at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta, India and a pioneering games studies scholar from the Indian Subcontinent. In his research spanning two decades, he looks at a diversity of topics starting with a poststructuralist reading of videogames as storytelling media, videogames as colonial and postcolonial media, videogame production studies in the Indian Subcontinent and currently, Indian boardgames and their colonial avatars. Souvik is the author of two monographs, Videogames and Storytelling: Reading Games and Playing Books (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) and Videogames and Postcolonialism: Empire Plays Back (Springer UK 2017), as well as many articles and book chapters in national and international publications. His upcoming book, Videogames in the Indian Subcontinent (Bloomsbury India) is in press, currently.

He has been a board-member of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) and a founder-member of DiGRA India and DHARTI, the Digital Humanities group in India. Souvik has been named a ‘DiGRA Distinguished Scholar’ in 2019. He is also an affiliated senior research fellow at the Centre of Excellence, Game Studies at Tampere University.

His other interests are (the) Digital Humanities, Poststructuralist theory, Posthumanism and Early Modern Literature. His databases on the Dutch Cemetery at Chinsurah, the Scottish Cemetery in Kolkata and the nineteenth-century Bengali industrialist, Mutty Lall Seal are all available open-access.

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Lisa Nakamura — University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Lisa Nakamura is Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor of American Culture and the founding Director of the Digital Studies Institute at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is the author of several books on race, digital culture, and identity.

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Soraya Murray — University of California at Santa Cruz

Soraya Murray is an interdisciplinary scholar of contemporary visual culture, with particular interest in film, art, and video games. Murray holds a Ph.D. in art history and visual studies from Cornell University, and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine. She is an Associate Professor in the Film + Digital Media Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her writings have been widely anthologized nationally and internationally, and published in journals in the areas of contemporary art, film and digital culture. Murray’s book, On Video Games: The Visual Politics of Race, Gender and Space (I.B. Tauris, 2018, paperback 2021), considers video games from a visual culture perspective, and how they both mirror and are constitutive of larger societal fears, dreams, hopes and even complex struggles for recognition. Murray is currently co-editing an anthology with TreaAndrea Russworm on antiracist futures in games and play. She is also completing a book on contemporary cinema, difference, and the technological imaginary. Murray is a member of the critical/historical game studies journal ROMchip’s editorial group.

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Kishonna L. Gray — University of Kentucky

Kishonna L. Gray is an Associate Professor in Writing, Rhetoric, & Digital Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. She is an interdisciplinary, intersectional, digital media scholar whose areas of research include identity, performance and online environments, embodied deviance, cultural production, content creation, streaming, and Black Cyberfeminism.

Dr. Gray is the author of Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming (LSU Press, 2020). She is also the author of Race, Gender, & Deviance in Xbox Live (Routledge, 2014), and the co-editor of two volumes on culture and gaming: Feminism in Play (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2018) and Woke Gaming (University of Washington Press, 2018).

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Emma Witkowski – RMIT University

Emma Witkowski is a senior lecturer at RMIT University. She teaches game cultures, qualitative methods, and esports practices from a socio-phenomenological standpoint. Emma’s research explores high performance digital game worlds, and she has published widely on the intersections of these worlds and expertise, gender, media sports, embodiment, and the institutionalisation of esports in education, nonprofit and commercial sectors.

She is an academic consultant across government departments and for professional esports and sports organisations. As a director of Order Esports, and board member of the Australian Esports Association and the New Zealand Esports Federation women’s sub-committee, she represents the position of discrimination-free and sustainable esports.

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New Report: Benefits of Video Games in K-12 Education

Washington, D.C. – October 26, 2021 – The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA) and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today released a new report highlighting the benefits of using video games in K-12 settings.

Based on an extensive review of decades of academic literature, the report, Benefits of Video Games in K-12 Education, discusses the benefits of using video games both in and outside of the classroom. The review is augmented by in-depth interviews conducted with teachers currently using video games in their schools.

The report highlights key findings from the literature: video games engage students, meet students where they are, enhance problem-solving skills, and help teachers accommodate different learners.

Whether part of a curriculum or after school club, the literature further underscores how video games are dynamic learning tools that promote engagement and resilience, stimulate collaboration, develop technical skills, and encourage participation. The report ends with a section outlining considerations for educators.

“The educators interviewed for this project work at public, charter, and independent schools in big cities, suburbs, and towns across the country. They teach math, science, language, history and more,” HEVGA President Andrew Phelps said. “The research shows these educators are successfully using games as powerful tools to foster learning, exploration, and connection. We hope the report encourages more teachers to use video games in their classrooms.”

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HEVGA Partners with IndieCade on new showcase for college students

Horizons is a new, online, international event to showcase game students, universities, and colleges and connect them with one another, tool creators, recruiters, and the broader public. The inaugural Horizons took place June 12 & 13th, 2021 presented by IndieCade in collaboration with HEVGA. Click here for updates on 2022!

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Tracy Fullerton

Tracy Fullerton, M.F.A. is an experimental game designer, professor and director emeritus of the USC Games program. Her research center, the Game Innovation Lab, has produced several influential independent games, including Cloud, flOw, Darfur is Dying, The Night Journey, with artist Bill Viola and Walden, a game, a simulation of Henry David Thoreau’s experiment at Walden Pond which was named “Game of the Year” at Games for Change 2017 and “Developer Choice” at IndieCade 2017. Tracy is the author of “Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games,” a design textbook used at game programs worldwide, and holder of the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair in Interactive Entertainment.

Prior to joining the USC faculty, 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. As a producer and creative director she created games and interactive products for clients including Sony, Intel, Microsoft, AdAge, Ticketmaster, Compaq, and Warner Bros. among many others. Notable projects include Sony’s Multiplayer Jeopardy! and Multiplayer Wheel of Fortune and MSN’s NetWits, the first multiplayer casual game. Additionally, Tracy was Creative Director at the interactive film studio Interfilm, where she wrote and co-directed the “cinematic game” Ride for Your Life, starring Adam West and Matthew Lillard. She began her career as a designer at Bob Abel’s company Synapse, where she worked on the interactive documentary Columbus: Encounter, Discovery and Beyond and other early interactive projects.

Tracy’s work has received numerous industry honors including an Emmy nomination for interactive television, best Family/Board Game from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, most “sublime experience,” the “Impact” and “Trailblazer” awards from the Indiecade Festival, ID Magazine’s Interactive Design Review, Communication Arts Interactive Design Annual, several New Media Invision awards, iMix Best of Show, the Digital Coast Innovation Award, IBC’s Nombre D’Or, Time Magazine’s Best of the Web and the Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100.

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Constance Steinkuehler

Constance Steinkuehler is an American professor of Informatics at the University of California–Irvine. She previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before taking public service leave, from 2011-2012, to work as a Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the White House Executive Office, where she advised on policy matters about video games and learning.[1]

Steinkuehler at the 2015 Game Developers Conference’s 1ReasonToBe panel
She currently researches cognitive and social aspects of video games and gaming at the University of California, Irvine. Her current projects include mixed methods research on the North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) high school esports league, quantitative study of esports in higher education, and advice on parenting gamers. She is currently a co-chair of the Connected Learning Summit (CLL), and chair for the annual Esports Conference (ESC) at UCI as well as the UCI Esports Program Task Force for Diversity and Inclusion. She has published over ninety articles and book chapters including three special journal issues and two books.