PhD - Informatics
Game Studies - Play, Performance, Leisure, Positive Deviance, Karaoke
Advisors: Tess Tanenbaum, Aaron Trammell, & Bo Ruberg
MS - Digital Media
“The Dynamics of the Player Narrative: How Choice Shapes Videogame Literature.”
Advisors: Ian Bogost & Janet Murray
BA - English
Summa Cum Laude, History Minor
AA - English Writing
Adjunct Professor (Spring 2023 - Present) Saddleback College
History of Animation
Graduate Teaching Assistant (Fall 2017 - present) University of California, Irvine
Introduction to Game Development (ToR: Maria Anderson-Coto); Spring 2023
Roleplaying and Improvisational Play (ToR: Aaron Trammell); Winter 2023
Visual Design Fundamentals (ToR: Constance Steinkuehler); Fall 2022
Game Design (ToR: Craig Morrison); Spring 2020 & 2021
Capstone Game Project (A&B) (ToR: Tess Tanenbaum); Fall 2019 & 2020, Winter 2020 & 2021
Human Computer Interaction (ToR: Matthew Bietz); Summer 2020
Multiplayer Games (ToR: Kurt Squire); Spring 2018
Game Design (ToR: Kurt Squire); Winter 2018
Global Disruption and Information Technology (ToR: Juliet Norton); Fall 2017
Adjunct Professor (Spring 2018) Irvine Valley College
Introduction to Game Design
Digital Arts Teacher (Fall 2018 - Spring 2023) College and Career Advantage
Courses articulated through Saddleback College
San Clemente High School (2019 - 2023)
Capistrano Valley High School (2018-2019)
Digital Arts Instructor (Fall 2017 - Spring 2020) New Vista Tech Academy
Taught college courses to recently graduated students with autism, helping them transition to college
Courses articulated through Saddleback College* or Irvine Valley College†
Introduction to Graphic Communication*
Introduction to Game Design†
History of Animation*
Writing and Storyboarding for Games†
3D Modeling for Games†
Digital Arts Teacher (Fall 2014 – Spring 2017) Covington Middle School and Fine Arts Academy
Recipient of the “Teacher of Promise” new teacher of the year award
Campus Innovation Coach, helping modernize teaching practices on campus
Videogame Design I & II
Multimedia Production I & II: Animation & Digital Video
Technology Assistant/Teacher (Fall 2013 – Spring 2014) Hill Country Middle School
Assisted teachers with technology needs at a one-to-one iPad school, and taught two technology courses
HCTV (Television Production and Digital Streaming)
Technology Teacher (Fall 2013) Akins High School
Computer Maintenance and Repair
Secondary and Post-Secondary Course Design (2014 - Present)
All courses were designed from the ground up according to the following philosophies:
Studio Habits of Mind
Equitable & Sustainable Materials
All courses are designed to be platform agnostic, focusing on artistic skill development rather than tool expertise
As such, I have experience with a large variety of tools, software suites, and development engines including
Game Engines (Scratch, Twine, Unity, etc.)
Animation Software (Adobe Animate, ToonBoom, Blender, etc.)
3D Modeling (Blender, Maya, Unity, etc.)
Digital Drawing (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, GIMP, Pixlr, etc.)
Video Editing (Adobe Premier, Adobe After Effects, iMovie, etc.)
I am not an expert in any of the listed tools, but neither am I afraid to incorporate unknown tools into my curriculum — the tools aren't the point or the focus
I also have extensive experience moving physical courses to online platforms, and moving online courses into physical classrooms
Division of Teaching Excellence & Innovation Summer Fellowship (2021) University of California, Irvine, Graduate Division
Assisted professors with translating their in-person courses to an online format
Assisted professors with re-evaluating course assignments and lessons to best suit an online format
Provided curriculum and pedagogical advice for online learning methods
Consultant (2016) for Code.org
Provided pedagogy consultation for their hour of code initiative for middle and high school audiences
Reviewed student-led and teacher-led activities and lessons, and lesson plans
Advised on improvements and redesigns
Consultant (2016) for Gamilearning
Evaluated Curriculum and designed a scope and sequence for the project
Advised on using games in the classroom
Advised on gamification challenges and opportunities
Karaoke Participant Observation (2018 - Present) research in preparation for my dissertation, UCI
Performed participant observation of karaoke play and the associated communities of play
Participated in over 1000 hours of karaoke play all over the world, though mostly in Orange County, CA
Assessed the play characteristics and experiences of karaoke through a phenomenological evaluation of the activity and its associated performance paradigms, using a game studies lens
Compared against prior evaluations of karaoke in academic literature and contemporary culture
Graduate Research Assistant (2017 - Present) for Dr. Tess Tanenbaum, UCI, Transformative Play Lab
Researched play cultures and play theories
- Established play research methodologies and publication strategies
- Assisted with the administration of the Global Game Jam hosted at UCI
Graduate Research Assistant (2011-2013) for Dr. Tris Utschig, CETL, Georgia Tech
Evaluated higher education research and performed data analyses
Wrote literature reviews and co-authored several papers
Prepared and managed the Course/Instructor Opinion Survey
Professor’s Assistant (2005-2006) for Dr. James Aton, Southern Utah University
Compiled notes and generated digital transcripts
Performed academic research for professor’s publications
Game Design Teacher/Instructor/Professor (2013 - Present)
Covington Middle School, New Vista Career Academy, Irvine Valley College, College and Career Advantage, University of California - Irvine
Taught hundreds of students foundational and advanced game design concepts
Guided teams of adolescents, teenagers, and young adults toward the successful creation of working game prototypes and demos
Taught basics in physical and digital design, art asset production and pipeline, animating for games, narrative development, storyboarding for games, rudimentary programming, and 2D & 3D systems use
Worked in coordination with industry experts and highly regarded academics in the field of game design and game studies
Design Consultant (2021 -2022) KNMT Entertainment
I provided structural advice in the creation of a new karaoke show toward improving engagement, including software implementation for queue management, establishing clear explicit rules to set expectations, “fair” rotations that were inclusive to newcomers, and simple engagement reward systems for regulars. I also provided her with game-centric hosting strategies that considered the needs of both the players and the audience. These strategies helped her to build and maintain a consistent community, which in turn allowed her to expand to multiple venues.
Associate Producer (2018 - 2020) Apples and Oranges Studios
"ShadowCast is a mixed reality musical theater karaoke spectacle. A performer in VR chooses from a selection of Broadway hits and show tunes, before being elevated onto a stage to perform in front of a VR audience. That audience is controlled by real-world spectators who watch the performer’s avatar on a public screen. ShadowCast allows players to live out their Broadway dreams in an immersive VR theater environment."
I served as a producer and a designer. I worked on the initial reference inventory research, provided significant design structures for the karaoke design features and the logistics for the karaoke-like components, including environment design and interaction design elements, and helped manage the team of 20+ artists and programmers. Its features were displayed at the Society of Language, Science, and the Arts conference and the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
Design Consultant (2019) Kevin Karaoke
I assist in designing a burlesque karaoke show. The design prioritized the safety needs of both performers, but the burlesque performer in particular, and I developed a format in which the burlesque and the karaoke would run parallel to each other, with occasional combined performances on songs pulled from research into the top 10 most frequent karaoke songs. However, he was unable to secure a venue.
Concept Designer/Creative Director/Writer (2013) Georgia Institute of Technology
"Quietus is an Art Game that tells a very simple and subtle story, and is a conceptual response to Dylan Thomas's villanelle 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night'. In Quietus, we focus on mimetic storytelling and aesthetic integrity; we held the aesthetic as the anchor for all design decisions, from visuals, to narrative, to gameplay elements. Our goal is to mirror the sentiment and emotion of Thomas's poem, while allowing our game to serve as a response of the consequences of raging against the inevitability of the dying of the light."
Made in Celia Pearce's Game Design as a Cultural Practice course at Georgia Tech. I was the lead concept designer, the narrative designer, and the playtest manager. The design went through multiple iterations following a design by subtraction approach. After the course, we continued shaping the game until it was displayed at the Different Games Conference in 2014.
Quest Writer (2012) Emergent Game Group, Georgia Institute of Technology
"The Virtual Harlem project is a virtual representation of Harlem, New York as it existed during the Harlem Renaissance/Jazz Age. The project is one of the earliest virtual reality environments created for use in the humanities and especially for the use in an African American literature course. It was originally conceived by Dr. Bryan Carter while he was completing his doctoral studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia (UCM). The Virtual Harlem digital environment contains iconic locations like the Cotton Club, the Apollo Theater, The Marshall Hotel, museums, art galleries and the Harlem Branch Library. In addition to these famous locations, there are also interactive elements, collaborative possibilities, music of the period and opportunities for students to create projects related to the period and to role play."
I developed several small story quests within the installation, with the idea of a "living museum" approach to the narrative design of the quests. I don’t know if what we built was kept or even whether his project still exists, but it was featured in an Atlantic write-up.
Quest Writer (2011) Emergent Game Group, Georgia Institute of Technology
"Ellis Island was created with the Emergent Game Group at Georgia Tech to explore the experience of becoming a newly arrived immigrant to the US. Players entered the game through Ellis Island to try and succeed in prohibition-era New York. The game employed role-playing and a special system that simulated learning a new language. Additionally a primary focus of the game was evaluating MMO design structures outside of a violence action paradigm."
I wrote side questlines for the game, mostly about smuggling and odd fetch quests for money. The quests were design to explore conflict resolution without violence. It was displayed at the Living Games World conference.
Bryan, J.S. (2013). “Ergodic Effort: Dynamism and Auto-Generated Path-Making.” Terms of Play: Essays on Words that Matter in Videogame Theory. Ed. Zach Waggoner
Peer-Reviewed Journals & Proceedings
Tanenbaum, T., N. Hartoonian, and J.S. Bryan (2020). "'How do I make this thing smile?': An Inventory of Expressive Nonverbal Communication in Social Virtual Reality." CHI 2020 Conference Proceedings.
Bryan, J.S., F. Bryan, and Q. Bryan (2019). "Play and Performance: Confronting Vulnerability through Performance." Well-Played Intergenerational Play Special Edition.
Bryan, J.S., and T. Tanenbaum (2019). “Adapting the Empty Orchestra: Performance of Play in Karaoke." 2019 DiGRA Annual Conference Proceedings.
Norback, J.S., T.T. Utschig, and J.S. Bryan (2013). “Insights into the Process of Building a Presentation Scoring System for Engineers.” 2013 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings.
Utschig, T.T., S.M. Newton, and J.S. Bryan (2012). “Measuring Skills across the Profile of a Quality Learner and of a Quality Engineer." International Journal of Process Education, 4(1), 3-12.
Norback, J.S., T.T. Utschig, and J.S. Bryan (2012). “Workforce Communication Instruction: Preliminary Inter-rater Reliability Data for an Executive-based Oral Communication Rubric.” 2012 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings.
Bryan, Jeffrey, "Kinky Karaoke: Karaoke and the Cultural Politics of Performing Identity" (2020). The International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL. (Canceled due to pandemic)
Bryan, Jeffrey, “No Fun Karaoke” (2019). Annual Meeting for the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, Irvine, CA.
Bryan, Jeffrey “Adapting the Empty Orchestra: Performance of Play in Karaoke" (2019). Digital Games Research Association, Kyoto, Japan.
Bryan, Jeffrey, “Videogame Discussion Panel: The State of the Medium” (2018). Panel Member. The International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL.
Bryan, Jeffrey, “The True Monster: A Frankensteinian Undertale” (2018). The International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL.
Bryan, Jeffrey, “Twisting Time: The Ludonarrative of Nonlinearity in Braid” (2017). Annual Meeting for the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, Tempe, AZ
Bryan, Jeffrey, “The Personal Player Epic: FFXI, MMOs, and the Boundaries of the Player Narrative” (2017). The International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL.
Bryan, Jeffrey, “The Long Walk toward the Digital Path” (2016). The International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL.
Bryan, Jeffrey, “Minecraft in the Classroom: Machinima” (2016). AISD Innovation Summit, Austin, TX
Bryan, Jeffrey, “The Digital Arts and Interactive Storytelling in the Classroom” (2015). AISD Innovation Summit, Austin, TX
Bryan, Jeffrey, “Videogame Spacetime: Experiences in Dimensional Thought” (2015). International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL.
Bryan, Jeffrey, et al. Quietus (2014). Different Games Conference, New York, NY.
Bryan, Jeffrey. "Animation for Games" (2022) University of California, Irvine
Bryan, Jeffrey. Interviewed by Chris DeLeon (2020) HomeTeam Game Dev
Bryan, Jeffrey. “What is Game Studies?” (2017) Palm Beach State College
Bryan, Jeffrey. “Teaching Videogames in the Classroom.” (2015) University of Texas: Austin
Bryan, Jeffrey. “Classroom Management.” (2009) Southwest Applied Technology Vocational College
Campus Innovation Coach (2015-2017) Covington Middle School, AISD
Google CS Mentor (2015-2016) Covington Middle School, AISD
Minecraft Education Influencer (2014-2015) Microsoft Education
Vice President (2009-2010) Center for Inquiry, Southern Utah University
Non-traditional Student Senate Representative (2004-2005) Northwest College
Arts, Media, and Entertainment (CTE) Clear Teaching Credential (2021 - 2026) California
Information and Communication Technologies (CTE) Clear Teaching Credential (2021 - 2026) California
8-12 Computer Science Teaching Credential (2016-2020) Texas
6-12 Technology Education Teaching Credential (2015-2020) Texas
Certificate in Inclusive Hybrid Teaching (2021) Department of Informatics, University of California, Irvine
Division of Teaching Excellence & Innovation Summer Fellowship (2021) University of California, Irvine, Graduate Division
COVID-19 Supply Grant (2021) University of California, Irvine, Graduate Division
Summer Grant (2020) University of California, Irvine, Department of Informatics
Graduate Student Travel Award (2019) University of California, Irvine, Department of Informatics
Department of Education Fellowship (GAANN)(2018 - 2019) University of California, Irvine
Diversity Recruitment Fellowship (2017-2018) University of California, Irvine
Chair’s Award (2017) University of California, Irvine
Dean’s Award (2017) University of California, Irvine
Teacher of Promise (2015) AISD New Teacher of the Year Award, Covington MS
Minecraft Education Influencer (2015) Microsoft Education
AISD CTE Scholarship (2014) Austin Independent School District
CETL Assistantship (2012-2013) Georgia Institute of Technology
ETS Recognition of Excellence Award (2011) Praxis II: English Language, Literature and Composition: Content Knowledge
Academic Scholarship (2008-2010) Southern Utah University
ACT Certificate of Achievement (2009) Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency
Western Undergraduate Exchange Grant (2005-2006) Southern Utah University
Academic Scholarship (2005-2006) Southern Utah University
Leadership Award (2005) Northwest College
Academic Scholarship (2004-2005) Northwest College
First Generation Student Scholarship (2004-2005) Northwest College
Most Outstanding Student Award (2004) Northwest College
Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA)
International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts
Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts
Gamma Beta Phi
Golden Key International
Phi Theta Kappa
Sigma Tau Delta