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Joseph Olin, B.S.

Part-Time Lecturer
President, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences

Affiliated Divisions:

Interactive Media & Games Division

Work Phone: 213.821.4472

Joseph programmed his first game after teaching himself BASIC while working as a copywriter on the Coca-Cola account in the 80s. Since then, Olin has been involved with more than 100 titles and interactive products on nearly every consumer game platform. He’s been fortunate to serve many different development roles on both the production side and publishing side of the business.

Joseph has an active game business consulting practice, is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California video game program and was recently appointed Executive Director for the International Digital Media & Arts Association (iDMAa) – a professional educational association to foster interaction between the commercial and academic worlds. The organization publishes a peer-reviewed academic journal quarterly and stages an annual conference each fall.

Prior to joining iDMAa, Olin was President of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences – the games industry’s largest association of accredited professionals - where he championed the role of talented creators within the $50 billion video game industry. Olin grew Academy membership more than six-fold, from 3,000 to 20,000, and directed the annual D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, the Interactive Achievements Awards® and the Into the Pixel™ video game art exhibit. 

As a precursor to the Academy, Olin spearheaded the introduction of gaming’s most famous heroine, Lara Croft, with the launch of the blockbuster Tomb Raider franchise as vice president of sales, marketing and business development for EIDOS Interactive.  Olin also served as senior partner and group account director at Ogilvy & Mather, where he launched Mattel’s Generation Girl Teen Dolls product and the first Barbie brand advertising campaign.  Earlier in his career, Olin held senior level positions in game publishing, advertising, sales and marketing. At Elliot Portwood Studios, Olin co-created Leonardo’s Multimedia Toolbox, an educational product developed with Gene Portwood andLauren Elliott (creators of Carmen Sandiego).  His background also includes tenure at Philips Media, Della Femina McNamee, Panda Management Company and Microprose/Hasbro Interactive. 

Olin sits on the advisory boards of the digital creative conference FMX at the Film-Akademie of Baden Württemberg, AnimFX NZ conference, International Federation of Multimedia Associations (FIAM), Video Game Economics Forum in France, China Joy Game Summit and the UCLA/CRESST Games Research Center; Olin also speaks at a number of digital conferences annually.

Olin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and has been an adjunct faculty at IMD since 2010.