Marc Destefano

Professor of Practice, Cognitive Science

My research is divided between two fields: games and cognitive science. Fortunately, these fields are not mutually exclusive. On the games side, my interests are in game design and analysis, dynamic systems, interface design, psychology of play, artificial intelligence
That is, what are games, and what makes them fun? What are the different perspectives that children, athletes, actors, gamblers, and tricksters bring to the field of play? What is the role of storytelling in games? I am interested in all forms of interactive entertainment, including virtual reality and certain types of theme park attractions. I am especially interested in the analysis and development of systems of rules that create interesting emergent behavior, and the larger cultural impacts of gaming.
On the cognitive science side, my interests lie in rapid decision making, and classifying actions at the 1/3–3 second level. My main application for performing this research is a special research-oriented game called Space Fortress.