Doris C. Rusch is game designer, researcher, play aficionado and holds a position as assistant professor for game design at DePaul University in Chicago. Before that she did post doctoral work at GAMBIT Game Lab, MIT, co-founded the Austrian game prototyping company 'Game Gestalt - play for change', acted as interims head of the Applied Game Studies Department at Danube University and taught several game related courses at University of Technology, Vienna, and Vienna University.
Rusch's work is focused on the theory and practice of game design and investigates game's potential as 'conceptual tools' that tackle the 'human experience'. She is an expert in modeling abstract ideas in games (e.g. games about love, addiction, trust etc.) via metaphors. 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, conference talks, workshops as well as games. She has presented her research at international conferences such as DIGRA, SIGGRAPH, Futureplay and Future and Reality of Gaming (FROG). Her game on addiction ('Akrasia') has been featured at the prestigious IndieCade Festival in Culver City, L.A.. Her latest game on depression ('Elude') was runner-up for the 'people's choice' award at the 2010 'Meaningful Play' conference in Michigan and won in the category 'most meaningful game'. She has given invited lectures at Nordic Games Conference, Dartmouth College and the Games for Health conference.
Specific Research Area
game design; social impact games; experience design; play, mental health activism