Veteran game designer, digital artist, and media curator Heather Kelley is our new Visiting Game Designer at Concordia University.
The Centre for Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) and the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University has appointed Heather Kelley as the Visiting Game Designer for 8 weeks in May and June of 2014.
Named in 2013 as one of the five most powerful women in gaming by Inc. magazine, and in 2011 by Fast Company as one of the most influential women in technology, Ms. Kelley co-curated the groundbreaking 2012 exhibition Joue le jeu / Play Along at La Gaîté lyrique in Paris, France. She is co-founder of Kokoromi, an experimental game collective, with whom she has produced and curated the renowned GAMMA event promoting experimental games as creative expression in a social context. In Autumn 2009, she was Artist in Residence for Subotron at Quartier21, MuseumsQuartier Vienna, where she created “SUGAR,” a cross media collaborative event featuring an original game, scent-generating networked electronics, and couture fashion. Ms. Kelley was Creative Director on the UNFPA Electronic Game to End Gender Violence, at the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.
Heather’s extensive career in the games industry has included design and production of AAA next-gen console games, interactive smart toys, handheld games, research games, and web communities for girls. In 2008, she was Kraus Visiting Assistant Professor of Art, and Adjunct Faculty at the Entertainment Technology Center, at Carnegie Mellon University, where she organized The Art of Play symposium and art game arcade. Her biographical sex game concept with Erin Robinson, entitled “Our First Times,” won the 2009 GDC Game Design Challenge, and her game concept “Lapis” based on female orgasm won the 2006 MIGS Game Design Challenge. Her newest sex-related piece is the OhMiBod iPhone application, which uses the iPhone touch screen to control a connected OhMiBod brand vibrator.
As moboid, Heather has created interactive projections using game engines such as Quake and Unreal. Her experimental art game work with Lynn Hughes, “Fabulous/Fabuleux,” was created at Concordia’s Hexagram Institute and integrates gameplay into a full-body interactive installation using custom “squishy” interface hardware. For seven years, Heather served as co-chair of the IGDA’s Women in Game Development Special Interest Group. She holds an MA from the University of Texas at Austin, where she is an alumna of the Advanced Communications Technologies Laboratory.
TAG’s Visiting Game Designer program brings a leading game designer to Concordia University in Montreal to teach one summer term course and serve as an adviser and resource for students, faculty, and researchers on campus. Heather Kelley will be in residence at the Research Centre for Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) from May 7 to July 2, and she will teach a summer course in the Computation Arts program.
The Visiting Game Designer program is generously supported by Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts, Office of Research, Department of Design and Computation Arts, and TAG Centre.