Doris C. Rusch

GAME DEVELOPER AND RESEARCHER, FOCUSING ON SOCIAL IMPACT GAMES, EXPERIENCE DESIGN, PLAY AND MENTAL HEALTH ACTIVISM.

Some of her research and development work includes:

Doris C. Rush  was a Assistant Professor for game design at DePaul University in Chicago. Working on the paper “Games about Mental Health – Designing the Experience of “What It’s Like”” The paper consists of designing four short games about various mental illnesses. The aim of each game is to increase understanding, empathy and eliminate stigma and isolation.The work received a silver award in the 2014 International Serious Play Awards.

ARTICLE: http://www.fdg2014.org/papers/fdg2014_demo_10.pdf Games: http://fortherecords.org/a4_elude3

In her Post Doctoral work at GAMBIT Game Lab she co developed “Elude” a game created to elaborate on the deeper effects of depression. The goal with making the game was to raise awareness and understanding for people surrounding anyone with a Mental Illness. The game hopes to remove the stigma that depression is simply ‘sadness’ and teach that it is more of a complex hopelessness feeling, with a failure to be able to connect with the outside world.

http://www.gamesforchange.org/play/elude


Rusch Co-wrote “Games about LOVE and TRUST? Harnessing the Power of Metaphors for Experience Design”

The paper asks the question of how thinking about game design as metaphorical process can expand the scope of video games and the need for more meaningful games. In the paper they explored the relationship between digital representational games and metaphors and how it can be harnessed to create meaningful experiences in games. They explained that metaphors can enter games in a variety of ways, for example interface metaphors providing foundation for communication between game and player and games that are based/themed on a metaphor/abstract concepts.
They applied Lakoff’s and Johnson’s research on “metaphors we live by” [1980] to game design to identify potential in future development of metaphors in games and analysed existing game examples of harnessing metaphors to create rich and insightful game-play experiences.
Works Cited 
Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. 1980. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
Rusch, D C. Weise, M J. Games about LOVE and TRUST? Harnessing the Power of Metaphors for Experience Design. Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab.
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