I am the Thomas and Lydia Moran Assistant Professor of Learning Science, jointly appointed in the HCI Institute and the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University.
I have been named a World Economic Forum Young Scientist, received an Okawa Award, and participated in Project Horseshoe. My work has been supported by the NSF, the Heinz Foundation, Google, Amazon, Bosch, and Philips Health, among others. I won Carnegie Mellon’s Teaching Innovation Award in 2018. I am also an award-winning game designer, including winning the national Shape of Health competition with my game Frolic.
Together with Amy Ogan, I co-direct the OH!Lab. The lab’s work spans learning, play, design, and culture. My own research focuses on three core areas: transformational games, educational technology for project-based learning, and inclusive innovation in design.
Transformational games change the way that players think, feel, or behave. For example, we are working on games that help promote healthy sleep. You can read about the design challenges we’ve identified in the space, and get a look at our fifteen game prototypes in this presentation.
As a game designer, I am particularly interested in games that provoke conversation about challenging topics. For example, my award-winning game Rosenstrasse, designed with Moyra Turkington of Unruly Games, explores a historic women’s protest in 1943 Berlin, which resulted in the release of many Jewish men who were married to non-Jewish women.
Educational technology for project-based learning helps students get more out of design projects in the classroom, but also helps professionals improve their designs. You can see some of what we do in this video from the GDC Education summit; my section of the talk starts about 20 minutes in.
Inclusive Innovation in Design
Inclusive innovation in design asks how new technologies can serve populations whose needs might not otherwise be considered. For example, the CARE project seeks to design interventions to help the targets of “everyday racism” cope with these negative experiences.