Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tracy Fullerton, "Experimental Game Design: Process, Provocation and Play," June 3, UCI

Experimental Game Design: Process, Provocation, and Play
Tracy Fullerton
6011 Donald Bren Hall
U.C. Irvine
Thursday, June 3, 2010

In the shadow of the commercial game entertainment industry, experimental
and serious game makers are exploring the nature of games, play and
learning in projects that have the potential to change the way that we
view and value participatory media. There are many different approaches
to experimental game design – some designers function best at frantic,
free-for-all “game jams,” others work on the edges of the commercial game
industry carving out a viable market for small indie games, still others
are working within the realm of artists grants or academia. There are
equally as many different ways in which we can “experiment” with games –
with their form, their feel, their function, their style, or their overall
place in our lives and experiences.

This presentation describes the work of a group of experimental game
designers in the USC Game Innovation Lab, led by Director Tracy Fullerton,
who spend their days asking risky, irreverent questions about what games
are and what they might become. This team looks at a range of unexpected
sources for inspiration, and does their best to evolve creative practices
that can allow elegant, meaningful solutions to come from their
impertinent design questions. Examples will be presented recent projects
that have come out of the Game Innovation Lab including The Night Journey,
an experimental game being created with media artist Bill Viola, and
Walden, a game, which is about the experience of author Henry David
Thoreau at Walden Pond.

Co-founder and director of the EA Game Innovation Lab, Tracy Fullerton is
a game designer, entrepreneur, and author of Game Design Workshop, a
design textbook in use at game programs worldwide. Among her courses are
Introduction to Interactive Entertainment, Intermediate Game Design and
Development and Advanced Game Project.

Recent credits include game designer for The Night Journey, a unique
game/art project with artist Bill Viola; game designer for Liberty Under
the Law, a collaboration with Activision and KCET funded by the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and faculty advisor for the
award-winning student games Cloud and flOw. 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, Fullerton 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. Notable projects include Sony’s Multiplayer Jeopardy! and
Multiplayer Wheel of Fortune and MSN’s NetWits, the first multiplayer
casual game. Her work has received numerous industry honors including an
Emmy nomination for interactive television and Time Magazine’s "Best of
the Web"

RSVP required: venita@ics.uci.edu