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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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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.

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José P. Zagal — UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

Dr. José P. Zagal is a game designer and scholar. He is also a Professor with the University of Utah’s nationally ranked Entertainment Arts & Engineering program where, among other things, he teaches courses on game design, ethics in videogames, and experimental games. He taught his first university-level class in 2000 and has since supervised multiple award-winning student projects, and many of his former students work at leading game studios worldwide.

José’s research explores the development of frameworks for describing, analyzing, and understanding games from a critical perspective. He is also interested in supporting games literacy and game education. His book on this topic, “Ludoliteracy: Defining, Understanding, and Supporting Games Education” was published in 2010. In 2012 he edited “The Videogame Ethics Reader”, a collection of writings that provide an entry point for thinking, deliberating, and discussing ethical topics surrounding videogames. “Role-Playing Game Studies”, edited in collaboration with Dr. Sebastian Deterding, was published in 2018 and provides an in-depth examination of role-playing games across different media and disciplinary contexts. His most recent book, “Game Design Snacks” (ETC Press, 2019) is an edited collection of nuggets of game design wisdom covering various areas in game design with examples from commercially released videogames.

José received his PhD in computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008, his M.Sc. in engineering sciences and a B.S. in industrial engineering from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile in 1999 and 1997.

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Jane Pinckard — UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Jane Pinckard is Associate Professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts in the Interactive Media & Games division of the School of Cinematic Arts at USC. She is a writer, critic, and educator who has studied the culture of video games for twenty years. She has written about games for publications such as Gamepro, EGM, 1UP and Salon, as well as on her games culture blog, GameGirlAdvance. She led the East Coast business development operations for Foundation 9 Entertainment, and served as Vice Chair of the International Game Developers Organization. She is on the editorial board of the Well-Played Journal from ETC Press, Carnegie Mellon University. From 2011 to 2014, she was Associate Director of the Center for Games and Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz. A graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy writing workshop, she writes fiction about robots and palaces under the sea. Her favorite game is Final Fantasy

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Tanya Krzywinska — FALMOUTH UNIVERSITY


Tanya Krzywinska is chair for Digital Economy at Falmouth University. She taught film and games at Brunel University, Uxbridge for 25 years before moving to Cornwall to set up the Games Academy and games research at Falmouth University. Tanya is the author of many books and papers on games and related media, as well as the Editor of the academic peer-reviewed journal Games and Culture (Sage). She is also an exhibiting artist, working mainly in Oil paint. Over the past four years, she has led a team of researchers to provide immersive experiences for museums in the region, using Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality and has recently become a Trustee at Royal Cornwall Museum.