December 5, 2008

Tracy Fullerton Named EA Endowed Chair

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello to Keynote Installation Event

By John Zollinger

Associate Professor and Director of the Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab Tracy Fullerton will be named the holder of the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair in Interactive Entertainment at a formal ceremony featuring a keynote address by John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts, Inc.

Tracy Fullerton, newly endowed EA Chair.

The installation event, held by invitation only, is slated for 6:00 p.m. December 9 at USC’s Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts. Riccitiello’s remarks will focus on game design and the future of the game industry.

“This endowed chair is a symbol of the long and fruitful relationship that the School of Cinematic Arts has enjoyed with Electronic Arts,” said Daley. “By making this a permanent faculty position and awarding the chair to such a dynamic educator, writer and designer, we’re further underscoring the importance of interactive media creation within our curriculum.”

“It’s an honor to continue collaborating with Electronic Arts, a company that has been such an important force and leader in the game industry,” said Fullerton. “Like EA, SCA believes in developing rich, innovative gameplay, and my part in training and working with future generations of game designers has been a joy.”

“Tracy Fullerton represents a new breed of game developer—a leader with deep experience and a broad vision for interactive entertainment,” said Riccitiello. “She’s made a career out of successfully pushing the connection between technology and entertainment.”

Fullerton’s background includes success in both the academic sphere and the public sector: she is the author of Game Design Workshop, a design textbook in use at game programs worldwide. Prior to joining USC, she was president and founder of the interactive television game developer, Spiderdance, Inc., whose games included NBC’s Weakest Link, MTV’s webRIOT and TBS’s Cyber Bond. Her recent credits include game designer for The Night Journey, a unique game/art project with artist Bill Viola; game designer for Participation Nation, a collaboration with Activision and KCET funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and faculty advisor for the award-winning student games Cloud and flOw. Her work has received numerous industry honors including an Emmy nomination for interactive television and Time Magazine’s Best of the Web.

In 2004, Electronic Arts made a multi-million dollar donation to the USC School of Cinematic Arts to advance interactive entertainment and create a launch pad for the next generation of game design. The contribution, part of EA’s global educational and talent development effort, funded two new facets of the school’s Interactive Media Division: the Electronic Arts Interactive Entertainment Program and the Electronic Arts Endowed Faculty Chair.

The Electronic Arts Interactive Entertainment Program and its associated Game Innovation Lab are the focal point of games study and research within the Interactive Media Division. The Electronic Arts Endowed Faculty Chair, previously held by Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Electronic Arts Bing Gordon, is one of the key catalysts that enables the school to fulfill the intensifying demand for talented game developers who are solidly grounded in visual storytelling and innovative game play.