October 6, 2005

Where to Find a Game Scientist?

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin · , 11:21 am

Jim Whitehead, whose email this summer kicked off a thought-provoking GTxA thread on game curricula, has sent me another interesting message. He writes because the Computer Science Dept. at UC Santa Cruz has been given the authority to hire a tenure-track faculty member (assistant professor) whose research interests lie in computer games. His question:

I was hoping you might have some insight on where we could advertise this position. We’re frankly a bit stumped on how to find a gaming-interested person who has strong technical research credentials.

Now, certainly there are places to advertise for people with strong technical research credentials who want to be in the game industry — who want to focus their research on an imminently shippable product. But where does a place like UC Santa Cruz advertise for someone who wants to do academic, technical game research? I somehow don’t think the Chronicle of Higher Ed reaches all of their target audience, but technical game research doesn’t exactly have a plethora of journals in which to run display ads. Any thoughts?

5 Responses to “Where to Find a Game Scientist?”

  1. Don Says:

    He might try Gamasutra although it’d be a long shot. I think the problem is that game makers don’t have the luxury to do a lot of formal research, and researchers aren’t under pressure to make and finish a game. The two worlds have a very small intersection. I don’t think he’ll find someone by advertising the position. The best way, perhaps the only way is to start actively pursuing people by finding names and making calls.

  2. Adam Russell Says:

    Might be a good idea to get in touch with these guys and ask for their advice:


    They’re academics, they’re doing game research, but *shock horror* they’re not media theorists! They’re engineers! Marvellous.

  3. Jim Whitehead Says:

    Thanks for the pointer to the group at Univ. of Wolverhampton — this led me to the International Conference on
    Computer Games: AI and Mobile Systems (CGAIMS):


    Seems like this captures a fair number of the UK gaming research community.

    We will likely put an ad in Gamasutra, but are definitely skeptical about how well it might do. We’ll also advertise in a lot of the usual places too, as well as word of mouth. It will definitely be a challenge.

    - Jim

  4. Dave Luebke Says:

    A friend pointed me to this thread. I looked at the ad on the UC-Santa Cruz CS Dept web site, and as you would expect it requires a Ph.D. in CS-or-a-closely-related-field. So I was surprised not to see a posting on http://www.cra.org, the standard place where any graduating Ph.D. will be looking for jobs. Are you planning to put an ad on CRA?

    My main thought in the US is that if you’re trying to reach out to graduating game-interested Ph.D.s that aren’t considering academia, and convince them to consider this posting, I think advertising to the IGDA chapters would be a good start. That’s the community to find many of the students I have worked with who are in this situation.


  5. Jim Whitehead Says:

    Thank you for the pointer to the IGDA chapters. It certainly makes sense to engage this community.

    I’m pretty sure we’re planning on advertising with CRA. We usually do, and I expect our ad will go out to them in the next 1-2 weeks.

    - Jim

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