Many complain that we are mesmerized and divided by technologies as they saturate our world--that we are becoming disembodied, fragmented, distracted from the present moment and from one another. In this talk, Isbister presents research games created in her lab that explore enhancing social connection through technological augmentation. Her work presents fresh ideas for thinking about how we can design technology that brings us closer together.
Katherine Isbister recently joined the faculty of University of California, Santa Cruz's Department of Computational Media, after a year on sabbatical at Stanford University. She was the founding director of the Game Innovation Lab at NYU. Her research focuses on designing games and other interactive experiences that heighten social and emotional connections, toward innovating design theory and technological practice. Isbister’s most recent book from MIT Press is How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design. Her research has received support from the National Science Foundation, Yahoo, Microsoft, Bell Labs, and other funders, and has been covered in Wired, Forbes, Fast Company, and Scientific American, among other venues. Isbister was a recipient of MIT Technology Review's Young Innovator Award, as well as a Humboldt Foundation Experienced Researcher fellowship.