All posts by Jeff Watson

About Jeff Watson

Jeff Watson is an artist, designer, and Assistant Professor of Interactive Media and Games at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.

April 2015 Playthink – Celebration

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Please join us at 6:00pm on Tuesday, April 21st, in SCI 201 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts for a discussion about games and play as art and culture. On this, the occasion of the *final* Playthink of the 2014-2015 school year, we will discuss games through the lens of celebration: games as celebration, games for celebration, the celebration of games, and more.

Featured guests include:

  • Eric Gradman – CTO and Mad Inventor at Two Bit Circus, Eric is an inventor and entertainer who makes others see technology as magic. He has a colorful history as a circus performer, professional whistler, roboticist, and inventor.
  • Mike Stein – Mike Stein likes to come up with ideas for mobile applications, and then go and build them. He’s particularly interested in mobile apps and games that help you experience the real world in an interesting way.
  • Funkster Scerbak – Funkster Scerbak is a freshman majoring in Interactive Entertainment. They will try to make you laugh, and sincerely hope they succeed. Funkster enjoys playing games and is getting better at it. Slowly. Most of their energy and passion is drawn from their hair, which has a long history of snapping combs. Should it achieve sentience, it will probably design games as a platform to take over the world.

Presented by the School of Cinematic Arts’ Game Innovation Lab, Playthink has become a lively nexus of community for USC Games. Under the banner of “games and play as art and culture,” we meet a few times a semester to host wide-ranging, audience-participatory discussions of the history, present and futures of games and interactive media.

March 2015 Playthink – Sports and eSports

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Please join us at 6:00pm on Tuesday, March 24th, in SCI 201 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts for a discussion about games and play as art and culture. This installment of the Playthink will discuss some of the oldest and most culturally-significant games we play: sports. The discussion will explore traditional sports, esports, and their attendant cultures from the perspectives of players and critics.

Featured guests include:

  • Sam Brown – USC graduate Sam Brown is an eSports organizer and enthusiast. A well-known voice in the world of eSports, Sam is the eSports Coordinator for AzubuTV, and is a former President of USC eSports and Community Liaison for Collegiate StarLeague.
  • Dan Durbin – USC professor Daniel Durbin teaches courses across a broad variety of subjects, including sports, sports media, the social and cultural impact of sports, social movements, classical and contemporary theories of rhetoric, and fashion and media. Dr. Durbin has published articles in sports, popular culture, and sports media studies.
  • Jeff Watson – Jeff Watson is an award winning artist, designer, and Assistant Professor of Interactive Media and Games at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. His work investigates how game design, pervasive computing, and social media can enable new forms of storytelling, participation, and learning.

Presented by the School of Cinematic Arts’ Game Innovation Lab, Playthink has become a lively nexus of community for USC Games. Under the banner of “games and play as art and culture,” we meet a few times a semester to host wide-ranging, audience-participatory discussions of the history, present and futures of games and interactive media.

December 2014 Playthink – ‘Pervasive Games, LARPs, and Street Games’

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Please join us at 6:30pm this Tuesday, December 2nd at the USC School of Cinematic Arts for a discussion about the intersections of play, narrative, and space. This installment of the Playthink discussion salon will explore the exciting possibility space of multi-context and multi-platform game design, drawing on a range of voices from ARG, LARP, and street game design practice.

Featured guests include:

  • Elan Lee (ARG and transmedia designer – Microsoft/Xbox Entertainment Studios, Fourth Wall Studios, 42 Entertainment)
  • Aaron Vanek (LARP designer – Seekers Unlimited, HP Lovecraft Film Festival)
  • Trey Alsup (LARP and board game designer)
  • The Wise Guys (Street game/Big Game designers – Wise Guys Events)

When: Tuesday, December 2nd from 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Where: SCI 201 on the second floor of the School of Cinematic Arts SCI building (3470 McClintock Ave, Los Angeles CA 90089)

Presented by the School of Cinematic Arts’ Game Innovation Lab, Playthink has become a lively nexus of community for USC Games. With the banner line of “games and play as art and culture”, we meet a few times a semester to host wide-ranging, audience-participatory discussions of the history, present and futures of games and interactive media.

Special thanks to Lucas Peterson for the awesome poster design!