Doris C. Rusch

Doris C. Rusch is a game designer, researcher, play aficionado and holds a position as assistant professor at DePaul University where she founded the Play 4 Change lab. 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” and focus on mental health issues. 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. Her reflective practice and game design research also manifested in the book Making Deep Games – Designing Games with Meaning and Purpose (Taylor & Francis 2017).

Her games have won numerous International Serious Play awards and have been showcased at eclectic festivals such as IndieCade and Tokyo Game Show. She has been a keynote speaker and presenter at venues including Clash of Realities, DiGRA, Game Developers Conference, Meaningful Play, Nordic Game Conference, FDG and TEDx.

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.