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School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile

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Tracy J. Fullerton, M.F.A.

Professor of Cinematic Arts, Interactive Media & Games Division
Electronic Arts Endowed Chair, Interactive Entertainment
Director, USC Game Innovation Lab

Affiliated Divisions:

Interactive Media & Games Division

Tracy Fullerton, M.F.A., is an experimental game designer, professor and director emeritus of the USC Games program at the University of Southern California. Her research center, the USC Game Innovation Lab, has produced a number of influential independent games, including Cloud, flOw, Darfur is Dying, and The Night Journey, with  artist Bill Viola. 

She is the designer and director of Walden, game, an adaptation of Henry David Thoreau’s experiment at Walden Pond, which was awarded “Game of the Year” and “Most Significant Impact” at Game for Change 2017. Tracy is also the author of “Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games,” a foundational design textbook in use at game programs worldwide, and holder of the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair in Interactive Entertainment. Other recent projects include Collegeology, a suite of college preparation games funded by the Department of Education, the Gilbert Foundation and the Gates Foundation and Reality Ends Here, an alternate reality game for incoming freshmen at the School of Cinematic Arts. 

Prior to joining USC, she was president and founder of the interactive television game developer, Spiderdance, Inc. Spiderdance’s games included NBC’s Weakest Link, MTV’s webRIOT, The WB’s No Boundaries, History Channel’s History IQ, Sony Game Show Network’s Inquizition and TBS’s Cyber Bond. Before starting Spiderdance, Tracy  was a founding member of the New York design firm R/GA Interactive, Creative Director at the interactive film studio Interfilm and a designer at Robert Abel’s early interactive  company Synapse. 

Tracy’s work has received numerous honors including an Emmy nomination for interactive television, Indiecade’s “Sublime Experience,” “Impact,” and “Trailblazer” awards, Games for Change “Game Changer” award, and the Game Developers Choice “Ambassador” Award. In September 2016, she was named the People’s Choice for most inspiring LA Woman in Los Angeles Magazine.