Emma Westecott, Co-Director

Emma Westecott has worked in and around the game industry for over twenty years. She originally achieved recognition for working closely with Douglas Adams as programmer then producer for the best-selling Starship Titanic (1998, Simon & Schuster). Emma directed zerogame for The Interactive Institute, an applied games research lab based in Sweden and organised Women in Games 2007 ( She was a core member of the Synergy games research group ( at The University of Wales, Newport. Her research interests include the celebration of digital games as an expressive art form and the potential for practice-based research to extend, enhance and conceive of game form in new and creative ways. Her research focus is centred on the ongoing creative evolution of game form, both in terms of new experience and new human possibilities. This, and the impressive body of work created under her leadership of the zerogame studio in Sweden, brought her to the DFI at OCAD to teach games and develop their games research initiative. Emma is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Cindy Poremba, Co-Director

Cindy Poremba is a digital media researcher, gamemaker and curator. They are an Associate Professor (Digital Futures) at OCAD University (Toronto, CA) and Co-Director of OCAD’s game:play Lab. Dr. Poremba has presented internationally at conferences, festivals and invited lectures, on topics relating to game art and curation, capture in postmedia practices, and interactive documentary. Their research and critical writing has been published in journals such as Eludamos, Loading, Game Studies and Games & Culture, as well as edited collections, art catalogs and magazines. Cindy has held positions on award juries including the Independent Game Festival (Design and Nuovo), served as Co-Chair for the IndieCade: International Festival of Independent Games, and is a past Board President of the Hand Eye Society, North America’s oldest videogame arts non-profit. They currently sit on the Board of the Game Arts International Network (GAIN).

Cindy also organizes non-traditional exhibitions as an independent curator, including Joue le jeu/Play Along (FR), and XYZ: Alternative Voices in Game Design (US). Their award-winning game and “New Arcade” work as a member of the kokoromi experimental videogame collective has been featured in both international game and digital art exhibitions.

Student Researchers

Ellie Huang (Graduate Research Assistant/Research Manager, Bodies in Play)

Tyler Beatty (Graduate Research Assistant)

Ryan Boyd (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Purvi Agarwal (Graduate Research Assistant)

Kahani Ploessl (Undergraduate Research Assistant)


Michelle Vu (Undergraduate Research Assistant/Production Assistant, VVV)