Candidates for Open Seats on the DiGRA Board (updated!)

Elections will take place at the 2013 Annual General Meeting (details here: http://www.digra-old-site.local/2013-digra-general-meeting-august-29-2013-230-330-pm/) for a few positions on the DiGRA board. The candidates for the open seats on the board are: Lindsay Grace, William Huber, Bob De Schutter, Hanna Wirman, and Lennart Nacke. The candidate for the position of Vice President is Jose Zagal. Below are details on each of the candidates:



Lindsay Grace (candidate for Open seat position)

If elected to an open seat I would be interested in promoting diversity, supporting member outreach and working with local organizers for future DIGRA conferences. I am interested in supporting the DIGRA community and organizing the academic review process.  I am hoping to encourage new participants and furthering design research practices.  I have been teaching game design and related topics for a decade and have reviewed for many conferences and books.   I have also organized a 40-50 person Global Game Jam Site for 3 years and directed a game research lab at Miami University.


Lindsay Grace is an Associate Professor of Games at American University in Washington, DC.  He is the former Armstrong Professor at Miami University, a top 25 game design program as ranked by Princeton Review. There he founded and directed the Persuasive Play Lab and the Games Center at Miami University.  This year his indie game, Wait, was selected for the 10th Anniversary Games for Change Festival’s Hall of Fame, as one of the 5 best games for social impact in the last decade. Lidnsay has has served industry as an independent consultant, web designer, software developer, entrepreneur, business analyst and writer. Lindsay’s career includes:

  • 81 courses taught in 10 years
  •  30+ presentations, panel discussion leads, and invited speaking engagements in Asia, the Americas and Europe since 2009
  • 25+ game art exhibitions in North America, South America and Europe
  •  25+ publications including book chapters, academic publications and articles since 2009
  • 15+ independent game releases

A more complete biography is available at


William Huber (candidate for Open seat position)

I would like to announce my interest in serving the games research field
in one of the two open seats for the DiGRA Board. Among my priorities
would be developing existing publication avenues to increase their
reputation profile, in the interest of promoting the visibility of game
studies as an effective part of academic careers in the various
disciplines in which researchers are working, and providing more
professionalization mentoring and services to graduate students.


William Huber is an instructing professor in the Interactive Media and
Games Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of
Southern California. He has also taught courses on computer games,
programming for the arts, critical theory and art history at UC San
Diego, the Southern California Institute for Architecture, and CSU
Fullerton. His research includes the study of the nature of authorship
in the creation of games and software-based playable media, studies of
Japanese aesthetics and experience design, and the use of scientific
visualization techniques for the analysis of interactive media.  His
visualizations have been exhibited in the Graphic Design Museum of the
Netherlands, The Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, the Calit2
Gallery in UC San Diego, the University of Florida, and the Carroll
Gallery at Tulane University.

He completed his Ph. D. in art history, theory and criticism  at the
University of California, San Diego in June 2013.


Bob De Schutter (candidate for Open seat position)

During my tenure as its chairman, DiGRA Flanders has been a success. Prior to its inception, game research in Flanders was extremely fragmented. While a nice amount of research labs were doing game research, there was little interaction between them and sometimes even a bit of hostility. The DiGRA Flanders initiative not only brought Flemish game researchers in touch with each other, but also sestablished a sense of camaraderie, unity and a spirit of collaboration. Its mailing list has grown well over a hundred enthusiasts with a wide range of academic and industry backgrounds, and there is currently a waiting list for research labs who want to host the next DiGRA meeting.

One of the reasons for the popularity of DiGRA meetings in Flanders can be found in its international profile. Over the years, DiGRA Flanders has hosted many international speakers such as Gerald Voorhees (Oregon State University), Chris Paul (Seattle University), Rick Van Eck (University of North Dakota), Yvonne de Kort (Eindhoven University of Technology), etc. and has had a good relationship with the Dutch DiGRA chapter.

As a result of moving to the United States earlier this year, I was forced to stop my activities as chair of DiGRA Flanders and pass the torch to my successor. As DiGRA Flanders has been an important and much appreciated part of my professional activities, I would like to continue my service to DiGRA as a member of its executive board.

These are the three priorities that I would like to address:

  • Multidisciplinarity – Whenever I attended DiGRA conferences in the past, I have always been accompanied by fellow game researchers, who often never had attended a DiGRA conference in the past. While I have a very broad interest in game research, my colleagues more often than not were focused on a specific field. As a result, I often heard comments that the DiGRA conference was not multidisciplinary enough, especially in comparison to the meetings of the Flemish chapter. While this year’s conference program seems to put DiGRA’s multidisciplinary vision back in the spotlight, my first priority would be to maintain that focus and to increase the presence of academic fields that are underrepresented among DiGRA members.
  • Collaboration – Many of my colleagues have also commented to me that they felt that it is strange that there is no clear synergy between DiGRA and the other game-related conferences they go to. Therefore, my second priority would be to establish a stronger DiGRA presence at other conferences that have game research in their programs, such as ICA, AERA, ECREA, etc. as well as at industry conferences such as the GDC.

Chapter communication – During my tenure as chair of DiGRA Flanders, there has been little communication between my chapter and our mother organization, let alone the other chapters. As an executive board member, I would like to take it upon me to manage the communication towards the chapters, act as their representative in the executive board and to organize collaboration between them.


Brief biographical statement:

Bob De Schutter is a C. Michael Armstrong Assistant Professor at the College of Education, Health & Society and the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies of Miami University (Oxford, OH). His research and teaching interests include the psychology of game design, the older audience of digital games, and the use of digital games for non-entertainment purposes (in particular education).

Bob originates from Belgium, where he received a master’s degree in visual arts from St. Lucas Antwerp, and a PhD in social sciences from the KU Leuven. He founded the Flemish chapter of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) and served as its chairman for over 4 years.

Prior to joining Miami University, Bob was the lead designer at the e-Media Lab of the KU Leuven (campus Group T) where he worked on games to facilitate intergenerational knowledge transfer, rehabilitate psycho-motor skills, train entrepreneurial skills, sensitize university students on urban mobility for the disabled, teach the psychology of game design, etc.


Hanna Wirman (candidate for Open seat position)

In order to better address and involve game scholars and DiGRA members located in Asia as well as to share research outputs from this area with scholars in the USA, Europe and beyond, I would be honored to join the DiGRA Board as a representative of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Design. I have participated DiGRA conferences since 2007 and traveled to Hong Kong from Finland through the acclaimed Center for Computer Games Research of the IT University of Copenhagen and Play Research Group of the University of the West of England. Through this journey, I have been delighted to learned from many of the serving and previous board members and presidents. I find DiGRA my true home within academia.

Our School of Design is a leading design school in Asia and the only design school in Asia ranked among “The World’s 25 Best Design Schools” (Business Insider magazine). We combine games research with design thinking and entrepreneurial perspectives, and wish to grow in these regards. Through close connections with local universities and games researchers in China, South-East Asia and Australia – which I am actively broadening – I believe I could be a good fit to the board. The field of games research in Hong Kong and China is growing and I consider this a good moment to build DiGRA visibility in the area.

I believe in collaborative interdisciplinary approaches and close communication with game designers and developers. Such exchange has been one of the great benefits of games research from the very beginning. However, for securing high quality academic standards, organisations like DiGRA can be valuable facilitators. Through my service as a Board Member of the International Gender Design Network, I find it important to promote gender inclusiveness in the games industry. If elected to DiGRA board, I would like to contribute to build such connections between researchers and developers and to advance collaboration with various industry partners, NGOs, game festivals, and other major events. For instance, I value the existing link with Women in Games International and have found it beneficial for my own research to visit events such as E3, GDC China, and Japan Game Show.

I would be very happy to join the DiGRA board in any capacity related to special interest groups, conference bidding and organisation process, membership promotion, DiGRA chapter development, and industry/NGO/festival/exhibition outreach. My particular interest lies currently in the study of socially responsible games, gender, player identity, co-creativity, emerging user groups, and animal play.


Dr Hanna E Wirman is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the School of Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University where she teaches game design. She leads the Game Development stream of MSc in Multimedia & Entertainment Technology at the PolyU School of Design and also teaches Visual Culture Methods from a game research perspective at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Hanna researches emerging player groups and social innovation in games and leads educational game projects working closely with the local community and NGOs in Hong Kong. Currently, Hanna approaches non-human animals as players and builds games for orangutans’ enrichment and for cross-species communication. Her work has been published in journals such as Transformative Works and Cultures, Game Studies, Simulation & Gaming (forthcoming), and TV & New Media. She co-edited a game research and design anthology Extending Experiences: Structure, Analysis and Design of Computer Game Player Experience with Leino and Fernanzed in 2008. Hanna’s PhD research focused on women players and their co-creative participation in the design of The Sims 2 through game modification. She gave a keynote address at the Foundations of Digital Games Conference 2013 and has been invited to talk on social innovation, animal play, and gender in games.

Lennart Nacke (candidate for Open seat position)

Currently, I am an Assistant Professor for Human-Computer Interaction
and Game Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology
in Canada, where I teach game design, human-computer interaction, and
collaborative research methods among other subjects. I am also a
co-chair of the Gamification 2013 conference and a co-chair of the CHI
2014 games and entertainment spotlight as well as DiGRA 2014 and
another upcoming gaming conference. I have been involved with the
DiGRA community through my research since I started working on my
Ph.D. on affective ludology in 2006. I publish at the intersection of
game studies, psychology, design and human factors. I have worked
actively in and maintain ties to interdisciplinary gaming communities
that span academic and professional members (e.g., Steering committee
of the IGDA Games User Research SIG) to promote game science and
research. I am very interested in contributing to DiGRA’s
interdisciplinary setup to promote ties between the groups and
conferences that I am already affiliated with and DiGRA. Several of my
game research publications can be found on my Google Scholar page:

I would like to be considered for either an open seat. DiGRA has seen a lot of change during the last decade with game research itself becoming a more
interdisciplinary space that allow people from all research paradigms
to find a space to work together. DiGRA maintains a mailing list that
is still one of the first go-to places for game-related research
questions and the conference has always tried to incorporate an
extremely interesting blend of people from many diverse backgrounds
and mindsets. I would like to keep DiGRA to be a creative melting pot
of game research ideas and make it even more welcoming for driven you
scholars from a variety of disciplines. With my involvement in DiGRA,
I would like to ensure that the association and its conference becomes
an even more welcoming place for people from all disciplines
interested in the study of games. I also want to work hard to improve
the quality standard that DiGRA has been recognized for so widely in
the past and make sure that the association and its conference remain
a high impact venue for game scholars to present and discuss their




Jose Zagal (candidate for Vice President position)

I am currently a member of DiGRA’s board and have served in this position for several years working hard to promote our organization. I have been heavily involved with DiGRA’s online presence including the recent site redesign and online updates and communication. I have also worked hard as part of the editorial team of DiGRA’s journal ToDiGRA. As Vice President I hope to continue contributing to our organization as we grow and consolidate many of the endeavors we have recently embarked upon.

While I currently hold a Visiting faculty position with the University of Utah’s Entertainment Arts & Engineering (EAE) program, I’m on the faculty at DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media where I teach a variety of courses on game design and analysis, online communities, and ethics. In my research I explore the analysis, design, and use of videogames for encouraging ethical reasoning and reflection. I am also interested in supporting games literacy through the use of collaborative learning environments. Further information on my work is available at my website:





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