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

Brian Upton at Playthink: 10/16/18

Brian Upton is an internationally-known game designer and game theorist with over 20 years of professional experience in the game industry.  For 14 years he worked as a senior game designer at Sony’s Santa Monica Studio where he collaborated with external teams on titles such as Fat Princess,WarhawkSorceryEverybody Has Gone to the Rapture, Bound andHere They Lie.  Prior to joining Sony, he was the creative director at Red Storm Entertainment where he pioneered the tactical shooter genre as the lead designer on Rainbow Sixand Ghost Recon.  He is the author of two books on game design:The Aesthetic of Play and Situational Game Design.Currently he is working as a senior designer at Tangent Games.

Join us at Playthink for a conversation between Brian Upton and Tracy Fullerton, Professor of Cinematic Arts in Interactive Media & Games on October 16, 2018 fro 5:30-6:30PM in the SCI 201 Think Tank. 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