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“A polymath is one who not only masters several disciplines, but who synthesizes them, integrates them.”—Sidney Harman
Professor Tracy Fullerton is a master weaver of multiple threads of knowledge. She is an internationally recognized experimental game designer and her research and teaching treats game design as a collaborative, integrative exercise. Her latest foray into weaving brings her game design expertise into partnership with Henry David Thoreau, yes, that Henry David Thoreau, the 19th century transcendentalist and founder of environmentalism. Through her interdisciplinary research center, THE GAME INNOVATION LAB, Professor Fullerton has been developing Walden, a game-narrative project that is an interactive experiential simulation of Thoreau’s experiment on Walden Pond. “Games,” Fullerton says, “have the possibility of being lenses that amplify our personal experiences and our narratives.” Her aim is to show the potential of gaming to communicate ever more complex, diverse, and nuanced ideas. Professor Fullerton, however, takes a step beyond integrates, she weaves narrative threads to innovate, educate, and transcend our environments. In his great work Walden Pond, Thoreau wrote “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?” Join Professor Fullerton in conversation to explore the space she is creating to do just that.
Tracy Fullerton, Professor & Chair of Interactive Media and Games
Tracy Fullerton is Director of the joint USC Games Program, which is a collaboration between the School of Cinematic Arts and the Viterbi School of Engineering. She is also a professor and Chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. In 2008, she was installed as the holder of the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair of Interactive Entertainment. Prior to joining USC, she was president and founder of the interactive television game developer, Spiderdance, Inc. Her work has received numerous industry honors including an Emmy nomination for interactive television, TIME Magazine’s Best of the Web, and the Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100.