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

Capital W at Playthink: 11/20/18

Lauren Ludwig is an LA-­based multimedia director and writer who grew up outside of Syracuse, NY. She regularly helms the Los Angeles comedy show Lost Moon Radio, which she co-founded in 2009. With Lost Moon Radio, she created the television sketch comedy show Passive Aggressive History which aired on truTV last yearLauren's immersive theater show Hamlet-Mobile (an adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet staged in a cargo van) was included in the anthology Best Plays from American Theater Festivals 2015 and was the winner of the Best Game Design award at IndieCade 2016. This summer Lauren directed a sold out run of a new original immersive show, Red Flags, as part of the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Lauren is a founder of the filmmaking collective Darty Hall; with them she wrote and directed the feature, 5 Pilgrims. Lauren also directed the web series Ex-Girlfiend which won the truTV Development Award at the 2015 New York Television Festival. Lauren is a graduate of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women and Northwestern University. More information on Lauren's work at

Monica Miklas is a creative producer and dramaturg with a career-long specialization in new work. In addition to her work with Capital W, she was an in­-house producer for Lost Moon Radio from 2010 to 2016, producing more than a dozen live music and comedy shows, as well as the company’s performance at the 33rd Annual LA Weekly Theater Awards at the Avalon. She served as the Executive Director of Lost Moon while attending CSULB's MBA/MFA Theatre Management program, which she completed in 2015. An active member of the Hollywood Fringe community, Monica co­-produced the 2013 Best of Fringe Extensions (now known as the Encore Series), has juried several sponsored awards, and in 2015 helped launch a creative workshop series for festival participants. At Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Monica produced special events and a guest artist residency program, and developed a tiny immersive concert experience called the MusicBox. More information on Monica's freelance event producing and theatre consulting can be found at

Join us at Playthink for a conversation between Lauren Ludwig, Monica 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. We will talk about immersive theatre and participatory play. All are welcome!

This conversation will be recorded as part of our Playthink podcast. This year, our salons will also be shorter, focused conversations. Beat the traffic home and join us for this fascinating conversation!

Tracy Fullerton