Logo: University of Southern California

Tracy Fullerton Named First Director of USC Games

Tracy Fullerton appointed Director of USC Games, a collaboration between SCA’s Interactive Media & Games Division and USC Viterbi's Computer Science Department
By: Kristin Borella
May 12, 2014 —

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.


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Tracy Fullerton, a game designer and longtime professor at the University of Southern California, has become the first-ever director of USC Games.

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