October 14, 2008

Get an MFA with Noah, Michael, and company

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin · , 10:11 pm

The Digital Arts and New Media MFA program at UC Santa Cruz is organized around a set of collaborative research areas — and I’m happy to announce a new one in Playable Media. The official description reads:

DANM’s Playable Media research explores the potential of computational systems for the creation of new media forms that invite and structure play. This group works to understand and create new ways for computer games and related forms to engage audiences, make arguments, tell stories, and shape social space. Ongoing Playable Media work combines game design and artificial intelligence research with writing, art, and media authoring.

In less official language, this is a way to get an MFA while working with people who have helped create pioneering combinations of computation, play, and language like Facade (Michael Mateas) and Agonistics (Warren Sack) — as well as with yours truly and the rest of the DANM faculty.

We’re starting the Playable Media group in Spring 2009 with a small number of students who entered DANM before the announcement. And DANM students were certainly creating playable media projects before now, like Mike Treanor’s Reflect. But I’m hoping that this year’s applications include a cadre attracted by the chance to get an MFA working with the particular group of faculty we’ve gathered at UCSC.

5 Responses to “Get an MFA with Noah, Michael, and company”

  1. Nick Montfort Says:

    Congratulations on starting this MFA program, Noah and company! This is sure be an excellent experience for you and for the students. I’m envious of you folks at UCSC for being the first to offer a context for writing and study like this one.

  2. Noah Wardrip-Fruin Says:

    Thanks Nick!

    Of course, the Playable Media element of DANM also provides another good reason to have you out to UCSC as a guest speaker…

  3. Ladan Cockshut Says:

    As an alum of UCSC (literature) and a new PhD research student at Durham University in human geography (studying online gaming/MMOs) I’m so proud to see UCSC do something so original and creative in the field!

  4. Garnet Hertz Says:

    Over the last week or so, I’ve become quite interested in this. I wonder: would ‘Playable Media’ like to link with some form of ‘Mechatronics’ to form some ├╝ber-media-ness? It could be the next Guitar Hero, you know… *wink*

  5. Noah Wardrip-Fruin Says:


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