Weston Bell-Geddes

Weston Bell-Geddes

BA, Interactive Media & Game Design '23

Harold C. Lloyd Scholar

What inspired you to want to study the cinematic arts?

I have always loved telling stories in unique ways. The Interactive Media and Games Division at USC has allowed me to continue my storytelling through games and experiences. Whether it’s applying my programming skills to create a virtual museum for Holocaust artist David Labkovski, or generating empathy in the VR experience Our America, I have been striving to positively affect and educate people.

What scholarship awards did you receive directly from SCA?

I received the Harold C. Lloyd Foundation Scholarship.

What has been the impact of receiving a scholarship from SCA?

The Harold Lloyd Memorial Scholarship enabled me to sign up for the extra units I needed in order to receive credit for my Advanced Games Projects, Our America and Soulfarer. Our America is a role assuming VR experience; Soulfarer is an innovative way for wheelchair users to exercise. The scholarship enabled me to continue participating in these important USC Advanced Games Projects.

What activities or student organizations are you involved in outside of the classroom?

Along with majoring in the Cinematic Arts School of Interactive Media, I am minoring in Health Innovation at the USC Iovine and Young Academy, which is advancing the intersection of health, tech and medicine. I am also a video producer for the USC Games editorial, helping to create and shape their online content. The USC Photo Club is another organization that I joined; I was featured in their magazine for my photo collage depicting my aging grandparents. Additionally, I’m a member of XRSC, which is a student organization focusing on immersive technology.

What has been your favorite class or project at SCA thus far?

CTIN 290: Digital Media Workshop with Professor Peter Brinson, who inspired me to use my technical skills to express my creativity. As a result, my team and I created the platformer game, Left on Read, where players make choices that impact the outcome. This free game got over three hundred thousand downloads and reviews were not only positive, but often commented that I had made them feel less alone during the pandemic.

What is a meaningful experience you've had while at SCA?

With both the Advanced Games Projects and the MFA Thesis Projects, I was able to present diverse perspectives in creative and exciting ways. The impact Left On Read had on players was surprising and particularly gratifying, validating people’s feelings of isolation and regret.

What are your career goals after graduation?

I recently completed a Summer internship at NASA developing virtual reality software for NASA scientists and astronauts. The VR project is part of the NASA Artemis Program and will be used to realistically simulate a walk on the moon. I was given satellite data and images and was tasked with creating the moon’s surface for scientists to explore. The intersection of science and VR greatly interests me, as does the intersection of health and tech. Using games and VR for good, to help people using immersive technologies is my ultimate goal.

What advice do you have for prospective students looking to apply to SCA?

Most importantly, make something you're incredibly passionate about and document it well. Don’t be afraid to let your heart and head collide and then express it. If you’re not doing what you love, it's not worth doing.