HEVGA announces 2018 Fellows

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – MARCH 20, 2018 – ​Established in 2017, The Higher Education Video Game Alliance Fellows Program recognizes senior scholars in the games domain who have made significant contribution 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 2018, HEVGA’s Fellows inducted six new members, including one in memoriam.


Staffan Björk is a full professor at the department of Computer Science and Engineering at Chalmers and Gothenburg University. He conducts research within the areas of gameplay design, pervasive games, and interaction design. A primary result of this work is the gameplay design patterns concept and the book Patterns in Game Design co-written with Jussi Holopainen. Together with Petri Lankoski he was editors for the bookGame Research Methods: An Overview. Staffan is one of the founders of DiGRA. More about Staffan.

Brenda Laurel has worked in interactive media since 1976—in the computer game industry from Atari to Activision, and in research labs at Atari, Interval Research, and as a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Labs. At the Banff Centre, she co-designed and produced the ground-breaking VR piece, Placeholder. She researched gender and technology at Interval and she co-founded Purple Moon—interactive media for girls—in 1996. She designed and chaired the Graduate Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design (2001-2006) and the Graduate Design Program at California College of the Arts (2006-2012). She also served as an adjunct Professor in the Games and Palayble Media Program at UC Santa Cruz (2013-2015). She is the author of several books. In 2015, she received the Trailblazer Award from Indiecade. More about Brenda.

Randy Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was a professor of computer science, human-computer interaction, and design at Carnegie Mellon University. Randy was a virtual reality pioneer, co-founder of CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center, and creator of the Alice software project. In 2006, Randy learned he had terminal pancreatic cancer and was given 3-6 months to live. He is widely known for “The Last Lecture”, a lecture given following a diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer. He co-authored a book of the same name, which became a New York Times best-seller. In May 2008, Randy was listed by Time as one of the World’s Top-100 Most Influential People. More about Randy.

Adrienne Shaw is an Assistant Professor in Temple University’s Department of Media Studies and Production and School of Media and Communication graduate faculty. Her book Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture won the 2016 Outstanding Book Award from the Popular Communication Division of the International Communication Association. She also co-edited Queer Game Studies with Bonne Ruberg,Queer Technologies with Katherine Sender, andInterventions: Communication Research and Practice with D. Travers Scott. In addition, she is a founder of the LGBTQ Game Archive. More about Adrienne.

Miguel Sicart is an Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen. He is the author ofThe Ethics of Computer Games, Beyond Choices: The Design of Ethical Gameplay, and Play Matters. Miguel teaches game and play design, and researches on the philosophy and design of digital playthings. More about Miguel.

Noah Wardrip-Fruin is a Professor of Computational Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. With Michael Mateas he directs the Expressive Intelligence Studio, a technical and cultural research group that creates experimental games such as Prom Week, The Ice-Bound Concordance, and Bad News. With Pat Harrigan, he edited a series of books that contributed to the development of game studies: First Person, Second Person, andThird Person. He led the design of three interdisciplinary graduate programs, including the PhD in Computational Media at UC Santa Cruz, which welcomed its first students in Fall 2017. More about Noah.

Click here to read more about all HEVGA fellows.