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

April 2015 Playthink - Celebration

Please join us at 6:00pm on Tuesday, April 21st, in SCI 201 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts for a discussion about games and play as art and culture. On this, the occasion of the *final* Playthink of the 2014-2015 school year, we will discuss games through the lens of celebration: games as celebration, games for celebration, the celebration of games, and more.

Featured guests include:

  • Eric Gradman – CTO and Mad Inventor at Two Bit Circus, Eric is an inventor and entertainer who makes others see technology as magic. He has a colorful history as a circus performer, professional whistler, roboticist, and inventor.
  • Mike Stein – Mike Stein likes to come up with ideas for mobile applications, and then go and build them. He’s particularly interested in mobile apps and games that help you experience the real world in an interesting way.
  • Funkster Scerbak – Funkster Scerbak is a freshman majoring in Interactive Entertainment. They will try to make you laugh, and sincerely hope they succeed. Funkster enjoys playing games and is getting better at it. Slowly. Most of their energy and passion is drawn from their hair, which has a long history of snapping combs. Should it achieve sentience, it will probably design games as a platform to take over the world.

Presented by the School of Cinematic Arts’ Game Innovation Lab, Playthink has become a lively nexus of community for USC Games. Under the banner of “games and play as art and culture,” we meet a few times a semester to host wide-ranging, audience-participatory discussions of the history, present and futures of games and interactive media.

Tracy Fullerton