Meet Your Professor: Casey O'Donnell

Posted on: January 15, 2014

Casey O'Donnel

Title

Assistant Professor

Department

Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media

Brief Bio

Casey O'Donnell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Informationat Michigan State University. His research examines the creative collaborative work of videogame design and development. This research examines the cultural and collaborative dynamics that occur in both professional "AAA" organizations and formal and informal "independent" game development communities. His research has spanned game development companies from the United States to India. His first book, "Developer's Dilemma" will be published by MIT Press in 2014. Casey is an active game developer, releasing "Osy," in 2011, "Against the Gradient," in 2012 and "GLITcH" in 2013. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Roles and Responsibilities

Departmental College Advisory Committee (CAC) Member

Awards, Honors & Recognition

Lilly Teaching Fellow (2009 - 2011) American Anthropological Association: Exemplary Cross-Field Scholarship (2008-2009) Change the World Challenge: Design Award (2005)

List of Courses

  • TC 839 - Implementing Interactivity
  • TC 346 - Advanced Web and Mobile Game Development
  • TC 498 - Game Development Capstone
  • CAS 992-004 - Games and Theory

Key Research Interests

Casey O'Donnell's research examines the creative collaborative work of videogame design and development. This research examines the cultural and collaborative dynamics that occur in both professional "AAA" organizations and formal and informal "independent" game development communities. His research has spanned game development companies from the United States to India.

What 3 Things You Want Students to Know About You

I think games can change the world, for better and worse. I think games can be systems that help us make sense of the world. I think through design and play, we can tackle the biggest problems.

Favorite Quote

"Your game idea actually sucks. That's the bad news. The good news is everyone's game ideas suck, so you're not alone. And hey, now that you know, you can stop wasting your time worrying about it and actually sit down to make a game." - Erin Hoffman

Describe in One Sentence What You Hope Your Students Learn from You, Your Scholarly Work or Teaching.

Games, design and technology are inseparable from the broader social, cultural, and political-economic context in which they are developed.

Projects

"Collaborative Research: Playful Epistemic Technologies, Crowdsourcing and the Gaming of Molecular Biology." Principal Investigator. National Science Foundation [Awarded August 2013]
"Engaging Students in Diabetic Kidney Disease: An Interactive Inquire Approach" - Principal Investigator. National Institute of Health [Awarded January 2013]
"'Tradigitalism': a digital learning game on traditional Jewish history and culture." Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Brian Winn. Frankel Jewish Academy [Awarded April 2013]

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