Interactive Media Forum for 8/27/14: IMGD/MAP/SCA Research


Speakers: Profs. Bolas, Fullerton, Gotsis,  Hoberman, McPherson, Stein, Fisher, et al
Time:          Wednesday, August 27 , 4-6pm
Location:   USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Interactive Media Building
(SCI), Room 206
Title:           Research in SCA, MAP, and the Interactive Media & Games Divisions

The program for this 511 session will showcase a wide variety of research projects in development by the Interactive Media Division and their various collaborations. It will include brief presentations by SCA faculty and Staff members in the context of their research demonstrations; the objective is to introduce IMGD and MAP faculty, their research interests, and potential opportunities for student participation.

Logo design by Erin Shea

Interactive Animation at SAS Conference

Logo design by Erin Shea

Two installations of the Body Scrub device were included in the Art exhibit at the 25th Annual Conference of the Society of Animation Studies.

Click to enlarge.

In this video clip, walk from the statue of Douglas Fairbanks in the courtyard of SCA, into the SAS Art exhibit to see a virtual fun-house mirror reflecting you as red translucent dice.  Then use your body to scrub through an animation by Christine Panushka.  “In Memoriam,” is dedicated to Dean Daley, and reminds us why food is not allowed in the new cinema buildings.

Click to see video.

In this video clip, walk  from the statue of Eadweard Muybridge into the lobby of the new Interactive Media Building.

Click to see video.

Interactive Animation at Rhythms and Visions 2

Spectators became the spectacle shaped as Lego blocks at Rhythms and Visions 2, April 26, 2013.  (Here’s what it looks like from the other side of the screen.)


Meanwhile, USC Interactive Media & Games faculty Jeremy Gibson and students from our MFA program play Ninja in front of Blooming Flowers, the other procedurally-generated, real-time, ‘fun-house mirror’ at the event.


v1 of Body Scrub was developed by USC Game Innovation Lab (GIL) Art Director (and Animation MFA student) Kurosh ValaNejad.  Unity scripting by GIL Research Associate (and iMAP PhD student) Todd Furmanski.  Special thanks to Animation MFA candidate Nesli Erten, and project adviser Dr. Vangelis Lympouridis, Visiting Scholar at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

USC Named #1 game design program for fourth consecutive year

From the USC news site: The University of Southern California has been named the number one game design school in North America by The Princeton Review for its graduate program. This ranking is shared by the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Interactive Media and Games Division and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science. USC has been ranked the number one school for game design for each year The Princeton Review has released the ranking. USC took the number 2 position for its undergraduate program.

“This ranking is a tremendous honor for us, and it recognizes the effort we put into constantly growing and improving our program,” said Tracy Fullerton, the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair of the Interactive Media and Games Division. “I’d say this has been a banner year for us in that regard, with some outstanding new faculty joining us from industry, our brand new interactive building, the tenth anniversary of the program and the amazing achievements of our alumni like those at thatgamecompany, who won eight D.I.C.E. awards last month. It’s all very gratifying to see how our efforts are having real impact for our students and in the industry.”

More info here.

IMD gets a new name to honor our love of games!

From the School of Cinematic Arts news page: The School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media Division has long been at the forefront of innovative gameplay. To emphasize its commitment to studying games and playable media in all forms, IMD will be renamed the Interactive Media and Games Division.

“Given the groundbreaking work in games that our faculty and students have produced in the decade since our division was formed, this is a natural step.” said Tracy Fullerton, the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair of Interactive Media and Games. “We’ve been passionate about the advancement of the form and the design of meaningful game experiences since our beginnings, and this name change shows our commitment to furthering the study of games here at USC.”

More here.

This name change comes in a banner year for our division — it marks our tenth anniversary, it will soon mark the opening of our new building, dedicated to the study and research of Interactive Media and Games, and it also marks a year of incredible success for our alumni. Not only have we seen Journey awarded Game of the Year, Best Game Direction and more from D.I.C.E., but just this week it also dominated the videogame awards at BAFTA, taking best game design among other honors. Also, The Unfinished Swan took home best Debut Game and Game Innovation from BAFTA, so all around an amazing year.

We wish these alumni and all the rest the very best in their continued efforts to make playful experiences that move us intellectually and emotionally! We can’t wait to see what the next ten years will bring…

Congratulations to our @USCCinema alumni at @thatgamecompany !!

Every time thatgamecompany does something to make us proud here at IMD, I think, well, it can’t get better than that, can it? But they always find a way to surprise me. Tonight, it was picking up 8 awards at the 16th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards, including Game of the Year for Journey. You can see Variety’s coverage of the story here.

To some people, the success that this group has had might look easy. Certainly, they make it look like they are wielding some serious magic behind the scenes. But to those of us who know them, and have seen them grow as artists, we know that the root of that magic is a sense of absolute integrity in their work, dedication, perseverance, vision, timing, and yes, maybe a bit of sorcery.

Congratulations to all of you, and especially to my dear friends Jenova and Kellee. I hope you are treasuring this experience!