Game Innovation Lab
Collaboration is our game.


Game salon

Playthink is a USC-based salon about games, interactivity, art and culture. Since 2013, we have held a regular series of discussions at the USC Game Innovation Lab that are dedicated to drawing out provocative ideas around play, games, art and interactivity. This year, in 2018, we have added a podcast component to our salon. Now you can listen to Playthink episodes on this page, below, or by subscribing to our feed on iTunes or Google Play.

Organizers Emeritus

  • Steve Anderson

  • Raghav Bashyal

  • Lucas Peterson

  • Bonnie Ruberg

  • Elizabeth Swensen

  • Akira Thompson

  • Simon Wiscombe

  • Kevin Wong

Upcoming and past salons

Paul Slocum at Playthink: 3/26/19

Paul Slocum is an artist, software developer, curator, and musician based in Pasadena, California. He is director of a new media art gallery called And/Or Gallery that exhibits digital art and develops software for digital art displays and music. Join us at Playthink for a conversation between Slocum and Tracy Fullerton about art games, curating digital art and art in the age of play. March 26, 2019 at 5:30PM in the SCI Think Tank.

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Tracy Fullerton
Magalis Videaux-Martinez at Playthink: 2/26/19

Videaux-Martinez’s work lives at the intersection of experience design, immersive storytelling and experiential learning. Join us for a conversation about design, learning and play with Videaux-Martinex and Jeff Watson in the SCI Think Tank on February 26 at 5:30PM to kick off a new semester of Playthink!

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Tracy Fullerton
Capital W at Playthink: 11/20/18

Capital W is the joint venture of longtime collaborators Lauren Ludwig (Director/Writer) and Monica Miklas (Producer). Join Ludwig, Miklas and Jane Pinckard, Associate Professor of Cinematic Arts in Interactive Media & Games on November 20th, 2018 fro 5:30-6:30PM in the SCI 201 Think Tank as we discuss immersive theatre and participatory play. All are welcome!

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Tracy Fullerton
Brian Upton at Playthink: 10/16/18

Brian Upton is an internationally-known game designer and game theorist with over 20 years of professional experience in the game industry.  In this conversation with Tracy Fullerton, Brian discusses his book Situational Play and how it can help us to design games that forefront the player experience.

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Tracy Fullerton
Adam Badawy at Playthink: 9/18/18

Adam Badawy is a computational social scientist and a PhD candidate in the Political Science Department and Information Sciences Institute (ISI) at the University of Southern California (USC). Join us at Playthink for a conversation between Adam Badawy and Jeff Watson, Assistant Professor of Cinematic Arts in Interactive Media & Games on September 18, 2018 fro 5:30-6:30PM in the SCI 201 Think Tank.

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Tracy Fullerton