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May 12, 2014

Tracy Fullerton Named Director of USC Games

The University of Southern California has a long tradition of pushing the boundaries of video games as an artform and industry. On May 9th, USC Games took another step forward when Tracy Fullerton, the Chair of the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division was named the first Director of USC Games.

Tracy Fullerton, the first Director of USC Games

The announcement was made jointly by Elizabeth M. Daley, the Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts and Yannis C. Yortsos, the Dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering.  USC Games is a flagship collaboration between SCA’s Interactive Media & Games Division and the Viterbi School of Engineering Computer Science Department created to foster innovative and groundbreaking video game design and development education.

“Tracy Fullerton is the perfect choice to lead USC Games,” said Daley. “She is widely considered one of the world’s most creative game designers. Her research and teaching treats game design as a collaborative endeavor that welcomes different approaches to creating games and gameplay experiences. The entire USC community will benefit from her leadership.”

“USC Games is a world-leading collaboration between Cinematic Arts and Computer Science,” said Yortsos. “The program educates world-class game designers, who innovate and collaborate seamlessly across their areas of expertise. We are welcoming Tracy as the first Director of USC Games and look forward to her leadership in advancing an even closer collaboration between the two schools.”

USC is ranked the #1 game design school in North America for its graduate and undergraduate programs for 2014 by the Princeton Review.  This distinction was jointly awarded to the School of Cinematic Arts' Interactive Media & Games Division and the Viterbi School of Engineering's Department of Computer Science.  USC has held a top distinction each year the ranking has been released.

Alumni from the USC Games program include Jenova Chen, the DICE and Annie award-winning producer of Journey, Asher Vollmer, the designer of the #1 appThrees and Davey Wreden, the game designer of The Stanley Parable. Countless other students have gone on to design, engineering, playtesting and other careers in the video games industry.

“I’m very excited to take on this new challenge in advancing USC’s leadership in game education,” said Fullerton. “Our programs have set the standard in this emerging field and now we are looking eagerly to define the next level.”

Fullerton joined the SCA faculty in 1999. In addition to serving as the Chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division and Director of the USC Game Innovation Lab, she is an experimental game designer, entrepreneur, and author of Game Design Workshop, a design textbook in use at game programs worldwide.  Her current projects include FutureBound, a suite of games to help middle and high school students strategize their paths to college, funded by the Department of Education, the USC Provost’s office, the Gates Foundation and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation; and Walden, a Game, which simulates the experiment in living conducted by Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond in 1845-47, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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