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

November 2017 Playthink - Childhood

Please join us at 6:00pm on Tuesday, November 7th 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 “Childhood.”

Featured speakers include:

Yuting Su is a passionate inventor with background in digital/physical game design, medical device design, and bioinformatics. She is the product creator and entrepreneur behind Thinker-Tinker, the company behind OCTOBO, a smart toy learning platform with a built in game controller and programmable content that enables real-time emotions and gameplay. Yuting has great interest in creating games and toys that combine physical and digital gameplay. Her works have been selected for the Experimental Gameplay Workshop in Game Developers Conference, alt.ctrl.GDC, IndieCade@E3, IndieCade, IndiePrize, and more. She is also one of the awardees of the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Games, 2017.

Margaret Moser is an educator and independent game designer in Los Angeles. Her work has been shown at Come Out & Play, Games4Change, and the Babycastles guerrilla game gallery in Brooklyn. She has spoken at GDC, AlterConf, and IndieCade East and served as a curator for IndieCade. She holds an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons.

Jake de Grazia is a software product manager, research project manager, editor, and writer. Part of him wants to be more of a writer and less of those other things. Past and present clients include the Norman Lear Center, the Annenberg Innovation Lab, the National Football League, and RUST LTD. His proudest creative works include Life Advice Radio, Future Hit Musical Sweatpants Wedding, and Mrs. Claus. He’s also a parent, which is his biggest and most important job.

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

Stephanie J. Henderson is an MFA student at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts where she experiments with interactive narratives focusing on psychology, comedy, and trope subversion. She received an Interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts in media production, psychology, and art history from the University of Arizona, and has spent a good decade in the Hollywood trenches where she has been a producer for nationally broadcast documentary television and film. Her current thesis project is centered around creating a transmedia world which can support a productive form of collaborative play with its audience. 

Tracy Fullerton