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 2016 Playthink - Bringing Games to Life

Please join us 6:00pm on Monday, April 25th in SCI 201 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts for a discussion about games and play as art and culture. The theme for this Playthink salon is “Bringing Games to Life.”

Featured speakers include:

Alenda Chang is an Assistant Professor in Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. She specializes in the environmentally informed analysis of contemporary media. Her writing has recently appeared in electronic book review, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, and the new collection Sustainable Media, and her current book project develops ecological frameworks for understanding and designing digital games. She also maintains the site Growing Games as a resource for researchers in game studies and the environmental humanities:

Harrison Gish is a doctoral candidate in UCLA’s Cinema and Media Studies department, an adjunct professor of film history at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Media Arts, and an editor at Sony Pictures. He is also a co-chair of the SCMS Video Game Studies Scholarly Interest Group. His work has appeared in CineAction, eLudamos, Mediascape, The Video Game Encyclopedia, and the UCLA Game Lab blog.

Ingmar Riedel-Kruse is an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University. His lab focuses on Multi-cell Biophysics and Interactive Biotechnology. The advancements of “interactive and playful” electronics provide a major inspiration for the lab as current biotechnology has many parallels with electronics 5 decades ago, suggesting novel means for putting microbiology into the hands of experts and lay people alike. Ingmar received his Diploma in Theoretical Physics at the Technical University Dresden, did his PhD in experimental biophysics at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, followed by a postdoc at Caltech.

The following IMGD MFA students will be also presenting work in progress:

Kylie Moses is an Interactive Media and Game Design MFA candidate at USC. She also graduated from Reed College in 2014. When she isn’t making games, she’s making fancy cakes. Grab a slice.

Bethany Martin is a New York native with an undergraduate in Fine Art from SUNY Albany. After graduating she spent two years working as a game artist in casino and social games. She is now pursuing her MFA in Interactive Media and Game Design at USC.

Tracy Fullerton