Doris Rusch

Associate Professor // Game Development
School of Design
Doris Rusch

Bio and Research Information

Doris C. Rusch is a game designer, researcher, play aficionado and holds a position as assistant professor at DePaul University. Before that she did post doctoral work at GAMBIT Game Lab, MIT, and Vienna University of Technology (Austria). Rusch's work is focused on the theory and practice of game design, particularly in regard to games that model the "human experience”, create empathy and can be used for mental health activism. She was the lead designer and vision holder of award winning and featured projects such as "Zombie Yoga" for Kinect, "Elude", a metaphorical game on depression, “For the Records” , an interactive documentary that deals with young adults and mental disorders such as OCD, ADD, eating disorder and bipolar disorder and “Soteria - Dreams as Currency”, a game to teach strategies to overcome anxiety disorders. Having completed studies in Literature, Philosophy, Comparative Media Studies and English at Vienna University, she received her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and Interactive Systems in 2004.  Rusch's publications include academic papers, keynotes presentations, conference talks, workshops as well as games. She has presented her research at international conferences such as Game Developer's Conference, DiGRA, SIGGRAPH, Futureplay, Future and Reality of Gaming (FROG) and Foundations of Digital Games (FDG), Meaningful Play, MIT Sandbox Symposium, Clash of Realities, Serious Play, Games 4 Change, Games 4 Health and G+L+S conference.

Research Area

Game Development

Specific Research Area

game design; social impact games; experience design; play, mental health activism

Schedule for Fall 2017-2018

Courses Taught at DePaul

Course Evaluations