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Mary Flanagan
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Dr. Mary Flanagan, founding director of the Tiltfactor game design lab, is an game designer, artist, and writer and has designed over 30 digital games, board games, card games, sports, and game-related artworks.

In 2003, Flanagan created Tiltfactor as a rigorous theory/practice laboratory devoted to the investigation and creation of games and play. At Tiltfactor, researchers study and make social games, urban games, and software that fosters a joyful commitment to humanistic principles, learning, and fun.

Flanagan is the author, co-author, or editor of five books including Critical Play (2009, MIT Press) and Values at Play in Digital Games (2014, MIT Press) with collaborator Helen Nissenbaum, based on the Values at Play project which gave rise to the popular Grow a Game deck. Flanagan has written more than 20 critical essays and chapters on games, empathy, gender, art and technology, and responsible design. She is also the creator of “The Adventures of Josie True,” the first web-based adventure game for girls.

As an artist, her internationally-exhibited work ranges from game-inspired systems to computer viruses, embodied interfaces to interactive text that have shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim, ZKM Germany, and other international venues. She is known to make art that often engages with games and play, such as her famous work [giantJoystick] (2006).

She teaches at Dartmouth College.

Brief Biography

Mary Flanagan Books and Articles

Abridged List of Awards, Exhibitions

  • 2014 Game Changers of NH-"The Good Gamer"
  • 2014 Buffalo chosen for "Doing It On the Table" board game exhibition at the Game Developer's Conference, San Francisco
  • 2013 Meaningful Play Awards Best Digital Game for Awkward Moment
  • 2013 Meaningful Play Awards Best Non-Digital Game for POX: Save the People
  • 2012 Major Fun Award for ZOMBIEPOX
  • 2012 Iron Game Designer at IndieCade Festival
  • 2010 Recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies Digital Innovation Fellowship
  • 2007 MacDowell Fellow
  • 2004, 2006 CUNY Outstanding Scholar/Faculty Fellow (Hunter College)
  • 2000-2001 Fulbright Scholar
  • New York Upstate Alliance for Innovation-100 NY innovators 2001-03
  • 2000 Stephen H. Coltrin Award for Excellence in Communications Education (IRTS)

Board Games

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