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

March 2015 Playthink - Sports and eSports

Please join us at 6:00pm on Tuesday, March 24th, in SCI 201 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts for a discussion about games and play as art and culture. This installment of the Playthink will discuss some of the oldest and most culturally-significant games we play: sports. The discussion will explore traditional sports, esports, and their attendant cultures from the perspectives of players and critics.

Featured guests include:

  • Sam Brown – USC graduate Sam Brown is an eSports organizer and enthusiast. A well-known voice in the world of eSports, Sam is the eSports Coordinator for AzubuTV, and is a former President of USC eSports and Community Liaison for Collegiate StarLeague.
  • Dan Durbin – USC professor Daniel Durbin teaches courses across a broad variety of subjects, including sports, sports media, the social and cultural impact of sports, social movements, classical and contemporary theories of rhetoric, and fashion and media. Dr. Durbin has published articles in sports, popular culture, and sports media studies.
  • Jeff Watson – Jeff Watson is an award winning artist, designer, and Assistant Professor of Interactive Media and Games at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. His work investigates how game design, pervasive computing, and social media can enable new forms of storytelling, participation, and learning.

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