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University of Miami Fall 2017 Visiting Knight Chair

The Knight Foundation has established endowed chairs in journalism at top universities nationwide. The chairs are leaders who practice journalism, teach innovative classes, and create experimental projects and new programs that help advance journalism excellence in the digital age.

The University of Miami's Fall 2017 Visiting Knight Chair is Lindsay Grace.

About Lindsay:

Lindsay is an associate professor at American University and founding director of the American University Game Lab and Studio. His game designs have received awards from the Games for Change Festival, Meaningful Play, Advances in Computer Entertainment and Gamescape. He has published more than 40 papers, articles and book chapters on games since 2009. His creative work has been selected for showcase in more than eight countries and 12 states, including New York, Paris, Rio De Janeiro, Singapore, Istanbul, Sao Paulo, Chicago and Vancouver. He has given talks at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC), SXSW, Games for Change Festival/Tribeca Film Festival, the Boston Festival of Independent Games and many others. Current academic liaison and former vice president (2015-2016) for the Global Game Jam™, Lindsay also served on the board for the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) between 2013-2015. Lindsay Grace drawing by Joyce Rice
Illustration by Joyce Rice

Professor Grace will be researching human computation games in the service of news, rapid game making and application of engagement design concepts. Visit the research section for details on these concepts.

Engagement Design:

October, 4, 2017: 5:30 pm

Center for Community Culture and Change, University of Miami, 5100 Brunson Dr, Wolfson Building Room 1020, Coral Gables, FL 33146

Content may be king, but experience is the kingdom. How do you turn the science and art of game design into strategies to creating audiences and keep them wanting more?

This workshop covers some core lessons learned and applies specific strategies learned from 2-years of research. Our findings indicate that the formal practice of game design offers three key foci that may likely prove useful to industries and practices concerned with improving their audience engagement strategies. These three foci are experience, agency and play. This workshop includes content adapted from our presentations at SXSW, the Game Developer’s Conference, and news organizations. These approaches are likely to improve the struggles facing not only the news industry, but other domains like activism, social impact, civic participation, and consumer retention.

Click to pre-register

Building Toys for News and Current topics

October 11, 2017: 5:30 pm

Center for Community Culture and Change, University of Miami, Wolfson Building Room 1020, 5100 Brunson Dr, Coral Gables, FL 33146

Game Design rarely moves at the pace of news, but that doesn’t mean it can’t.  Adapting a verb-centered design approach, this workshop demonstrates how a concise concept statement and a few hours with game making software can help you create interactive, toys and games quickly.  Building on previously published work, the workshop demonstrations the difference between games (play with a goal), toys (play without an explicit goal) and interactives, showing how they can be created quickly.

(This workshop is BYOD, participants should install Construct 2 ,, Gamesalad, and Twine on their computers if they'd like to follow along.

Click to pre-register

Promoting, Packaging and publishing your final product

November 17, 2017: 5:30 pm

Center for Community Culture and Change, University of Miami, 5100 Brunson Dr, Wolfson Building Room 1020, Coral Gables, FL 33146

You just completed a nice little prototype and now it’s time to take it to the masses. What are the steps to producing, publishing and promoting an independent game or public interactive. What are your options and how do you launch.  Based on lessons learned from experience, this workshop covers the basic strategies and practicalities to bringing a project from prototype to public beta and beyond.  

This discussion will expect that you have an in process project.

Click to pre-register

Newsgames. Activist Games. Social Impact games

The world needs more of them and we want to help make that happen. The Newsjam is an opportunity to rally our community around games for reporting, data driven play and persuasive games. Work and play with other game designers, programmers and artists to inspire the spirit of political activism and news reporting into games. Apply engagement design in tool to aid reporting or design to reach a new demographic.

The Newsjam is an event sponsored by the Knight Foundation and the University of Miami School of Communication. It is a weekend long game jam with a very specific focus - the intersection of news, games. and community. It’s an opportunity to experiment with games as a way of connecting people with the news, empowering citizen reporters or re-envision the way we learn about the world around us.

This jam is a first time journey into unknown territory. What world changing game will you make?

The event will open on October 20th at 6:30PM, and end at 2:30 on Sunday, October 22nd. Beyond providing the opportunity to work with others, the event will be hosted by professional journalists, game designers, artists, and developers. Quick, informative, micro-talks on topics will be part of the weekend long program. The event will end with a public showcase of the games.

We invite anyone and everyone who is interested in making digital games, location based games, mobile games, board games, print to play and more to come. The best games may be invited to extend development toward a final, public release under guidance from experienced professionals in our community.

The world is changing. We invite you to be a part of that change.
Event registration closes October, 10, 2017. The event happens on October, 20th to October 22nd, 2017.

The Symposium

Our December symposium was an invite only event convening a variety of academics, students and professionals in Washington, DC. at the American University Game Lab. 50 Attendees registered for the event, including professionals from Smithsonian National Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum, WAMU, The Woodrow Wilson Center, the University of Miami, American University, and more.

Final Presentations

Rising Tide Final Showcase game arcade image

Rising Tide Final Showcase game arcade image


Visiting Knight Professor Fall 2017 Activities:

The following were presented, published or produced during the visiting Knight Professorship:


Invited Talks
  • 2017: Grace, L. Writing for Games Workshop (5 day course), International School of Film and TV (Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión - EICTV), San Antonio de Los Baños, Artemisa Province, Cuba
  • 2017: Grace, L. "Persuasive Play and Social Impact", Austrian Research and Innovation Talk (ARIT), Austin, Texas, USA
  • 2017: Grace, L."Persuasive Play in Non-game Contexts", The Persuasive Gaming Conference (satellite event to CHI-Play), Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 2017:  Grace, L. "Engagement Design, Journalism and Fake News", Facebook research, Menlo Park, CA.

Community Presentations:

  • 2017, December: Grace, L. Closing Keynote - Jolt Journalism and Games Research Convening, American University Game Lab, Washington, DC
  • 2017, November: Grace, L. IXDA Miami (meetup): Engagement Design (46 attendees)


  • (in press) Jackson*, T, Grace, L, Inglese,P., Wain, J., Hone B., Awkward Annie: Game-Based Assessment of English Pragmatic Skills, In Proceedings of the 14th Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (ACE '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA
  • Grace, L. Heuristics from Curating and Exhibiting Game Art in the 21st Century, In proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Digital Arts (Artech 2017), Macau, China
  • (book in development): Grace, L., Gold, Susan. 10 Years of the Global Game Jam

A community effort guide to engagement design was released on December 10, 2017. The document covers our findings, through Jolt, on how game design can be applied to create better engagement.

Games (designed and developed in 2-5 days each)

hurl the harraser

me too

Fake domain shooter

fake image selector

me too

Fall 2017 Press:

Prior Work

Interested in knowing more about the confluence of news and games? Here are some videos, publications and news about this work. Completed projects will also be posted here.

Jolt: Innovation in Journalism through Game Design

Engagement Design, News and Games:


  • 2017Grace, L., Dunlap, K., Datu, C. and Rice, J.,Engineered Collisions Between Games and News , SXSW, Austin, TX, March 2017
  • 2016: Grace, L. Keynote: Online News Association (ONA)-London, United Kingdom
  • 2016: Grace, L., Farley, M. Playing with the News, Meaningful Play Conference, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan October 2016
  • 2016: Grace, L., Dunlap, K., Datu, C. and Rice, J. Community Engagement at the Intersection of Games and News, 30th Game Developer's conference (GDC), San Francisco, CA, March 2016
  • 2016: Grace, L. "VR and Other Oddities, What Journalists Can Learn from Game Design", Quinnipiac University visiting artist lecture in Games, Hamden Connecticut
  • 2016: Grace, L. "Engaging Social Impact through Game Design", Climate Change Game Jam Showcase, Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Washington, DC
  • 2015: Grace, L. "What Journalists Can Learn from Game Design",Society for News Design (SND) Conference, Washington DC, April 2015


Empathy and Perspective:

Persuasive Play:


Game Jams:

  • Grace, L. 2016. Deciphering Hackathons and Game Jams through Play, in Proceedings of the 1st International Conference of Game Jams, Hackathons and Game Creation Events, David Brower Center of UC Berkeley in California, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 4 pages.

Human Computation Games - Addressing large scale problems through games


In the News:

Factitious Game:

Nieman Lab, Games might be a good tool for fighting fake news. Here’s what three developers have learned, Christine, Schmidt, August 3, 2017.

Houston Chronicle, Fake news? Game seeks to train readers to separate fact and fiction in the media, Andrew Kragie, July 10, 2017 [Austin], Beat The Monday Blahs With Scintillating Conversations At SXSW, Tony Cantu, March 13, 2017

NRC Media, So Save the Tech Press, Three Solutions for the Media (Dutch Language), March 21, 2017

NRC Media SXSW #4: Fake News and News Games, Jan Benjamin, March 21, 2017

Federal News Radio, Fact-checking in the era of fake news, Debra Roth and Nikki Cannon, March 10, 2017

Texas Public Radio (w/ Aaron Delwiche, Trinity University), (KPAC/KSTX-San Antonio, KTXI,KTPR,KCHL): The Source, Can Gaming Save the World?, March 16, 2015