Logo: University of Southern California

May 12, 2014: Tracy Fullerton Named First Director of USC Games

Press Release
CONTACT: Megan Hazle - 213-821-1887 or hazle@usc.edu
May 12, 2014 —

May 12, 2014 (LOS ANGELES) – Tracy Fullerton, the Chair of the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division has been named the first Director of USC Games, it was announced jointly by Elizabeth M. Daley, the Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts and Yannis C. Yortsos, the Dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering. USC Games is a flagship collaboration between SCA’s Interactive Media & Games Division and the Viterbi School of Engineering Computer Science Department created to foster innovative and ground breaking video game design and development education.

“Tracy Fullerton is the perfect choice to lead USC Games,” said Daley. “She is widely considered one of the world’s most creative game designers. Her research and teaching treats game design as a collaborative endeavor that welcomes different approaches to creating games and gameplay experiences. The entire USC community will benefit from her leadership.”

“USC Games is a world-leading collaboration between Cinematic Arts and Computer Science,” said Yortsos. “The program educates world-class game designers, who innovate and collaborate seamlessly across their areas of expertise. We are welcoming Tracy as the first Director of USC Games and look forward to her leadership in advancing an even closer collaboration between the two schools.”

USC is ranked the #1 game design school in North America for its graduate and undergraduate programs for 2014 by the Princeton Review. This distinction was jointly awarded to the School of Cinematic Arts' Interactive Media & Games Division and the Viterbi School of Engineering's Department of Computer Science. USC has held a top distinction each year the ranking has been released.

“I’m very excited to take on this new challenge in advancing USC’s leadership in game education,” said Fullerton. “Our programs have set the standard in this emerging field and now we are looking eagerly to define the next level.”
Fullerton joined the SCA faculty in 1999. In addition to serving as the Chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division and Director of the USC Game Innovation Lab, she is an experimental game designer, entrepreneur, and author of Game Design Workshop, a design textbook in use at game programs worldwide. Her current projects include FutureBound, a suite of games to help middle and high school students strategize their paths to college, funded by the Department of Education, the USC Provost’s office, the Gates Foundation and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation; and Walden, a Game, which simulates the experiment in living conducted by Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond in 1845-47, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Fullerton was instrumental in developing USC Games as a unique approach to game design that equally values design, artistry, engineering, computer science and play experience. Its comprehensive curriculum envisions the emerging discipline of game studies as an inherently interdisciplinary effort that spans many areas of the University’s curriculum. Work produced in the program is showcased at Demo Day, USC’s bi-annual industry exhibition for student-developed video games ranging from first-person virtual reality and multiplayer fantasy extravaganzas to emotional and therapeutic games, touching on a variety of interactive and immersive experiences. Incorporating the finished projects of seven student teams, this year’s Demo Day will take place on May 14, 2014 on the USC campus at the Eileen Norris Theatre and the School of Cinematic Arts Complex.

About USC Games

USC Games is the flagship collaboration offered jointly by the School of Cinematic Arts Division of Interactive Media & Games and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Computer Science Department. This unified brand allows press, industry, students and faculty to discuss the overall efforts at USC in games and simultaneously clarify the important distinctions between the offerings of the various programs.

The program at the School Cinematic Arts focuses on both the design and production of interactive media and games. Students emerge as creative media leaders, fluent in many forms of visual expression and storytelling, with the sophistication to design and develop innovative interactive experiences that expand the state of interactive art and play across the domains such as entertainment, education, health care and social action.

The Computer Science Games program at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering provides students with a grounding in the fundamentals of computer science and a cross-disciplinary background in game development. Students emerge with an engineering-oriented game-programming skill set, with an understanding of key technologies and the ability to lead complex technical teams in the development of games.

In addition to the advanced games class, the USC Games collaboration includes Demo Day and recently, an alumni dinner held at the Game Developers Conference. USC Games will bring more shared courses under this umbrella, including those from other schools at USC. The Director of USC Games will lead to answer this need. games@usc.edu

About The USC School of Cinematic Arts
The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts is one of the leading film schools in the world. Founded in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929 over 85 years ago, the USC School of Cinematic Arts has fueled and mirrored the growth of entertainment as an industry and an art form. The School offers comprehensive programs in directing, producing, writing, critical studies, animation and digital arts, production, interactive media and games, all backed by a broad liberal arts education and taught by leading practitioners in each field. Its more than 11,000 alumni are among the world’s most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts and industry executives. Since 1973 not a year has passed without an alumnus or alumna being nominated for an Academy Award. https://cinema.usc.edu/

About the USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Engineering began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, in 2004, the school was named the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, honoring alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm, a key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. The school is consistently ranked among the top engineering programs in the world. It enrolls more than 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students, taught by 175 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with more than 60 endowed chairs and professorships. The school offers comprehensive programs in all major areas of engineering, from aerospace and astronautical engineering, to biomedical, chemical, civil and environmental engineering, to computer science and materials science, and to electrical engineering, industrial and systems engineering and mechanical engineering. With annual research expenditures exceeding $180M, the school is home to the Information Science Institute and more than 45 other research centers. Its more than 50,000 alumni span the globe. USC Viterbi is also home to the pioneering distance learning program DEN@Viterbi, ranked as the top such program in the nation the last two years. http://viterbi.usc.edu


Megan Hazle
USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Kristin Borella
USC School of Cinematic Arts
Dana Bseiso
The Angellotti Company
Andrew Karl