ESP Biography



ALEX CHISHOLM, Former MIT Research Group Co-Director




Major: Comparative Media Studies

College/Employer: Learning Games Network

Year of Graduation: Not available.

Picture of Alex Chisholm

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Alex Chisholm is Executive Director and a founding member of the Learning Games Network, a non-profit organization that champions the use of games in education and supports the design, development, and production efforts of both non-profit and commercial partners. As a media research and development consultant who creates transmedia entertainment and educational properties, he currently serves as Executive Producer of both Generation Cures, a "Game for Good" initiative at Children's Hospital Boston, and Interactive Social Language Education (ISLE), an international language learning platform made possible by support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Between 1999 and 2003, Alex served as Director of Development and Communications for MIT Comparative Media Studies, working with Henry Jenkins to develop research projects and secure financial support for the program. In recent years, he has developed and managed projects with NBC Universal, including iCue with NBC News and the online games for NBC Olympics. Chisholm has also collaborated on research, product, and program development with Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and LeapFrog. He is the software and interactive media judge for the annual NAPPA Awards. Alex holds a B.S. from Cornell University.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Game Design Jam in Splash! 2012
Do you want to design video games? Are you worried you don't have the technical skills to realize your vision? Not to worry! Game design and production teams are made up of talented individuals that include researchers, writers, artists, musicians, sound designers, and programmers, among others, each bringing a unique perspective and set of skills to the creative process. This hands-on non-technical concept design workshop will take you through a rapid-fire design process. We'll match you up with other students and help your team create a new game concept by the time you move on to your next Slpash session.


Game Design Jam in Splash! 2012
Do you want to design video games? Are you worried you don't have the technical skills to realize your vision? Not to worry! Game design and production teams are made up of talented individuals that include researchers, writers, artists, musicians, sound designers, and programmers, among others, each bringing a unique perspective and set of skills to the creative process. This hands-on non-technical concept design workshop will take you through a rapid-fire design process. We'll match you up with other students and help your team create a new game concept by the time you move on to your next Slpash session.


Game Design 101: Part 1 (Creative Concept Development) in Splash! 2010
In this hands-on, activities-based workshop, the Learning Games Network, a non-profit spin-off of the MIT Education Arcade, will support students interested in competing in the National STEM Video Game Challenge (http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/Initiatives-31.html). Game Design 101: Part 1 will cover the following: -- How we think about games generally, and learning games specifically -- Strategies for developing your concept, including analyzing games you love to play and applying what you know to new designs -- Designing for students (and teachers) -- Play testing your concept and incorporating feedback into your design -- Documenting your design


Game Design 101: Part 2 (Technical Production) in Splash! 2010
In this hands-on, activities-based workshop, the Learning Games Network, a non-profit spin-off of the MIT Education Arcade, will support students interested in competing in the National STEM Video Game Challenge (http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/Initiatives-31.html). Game Design 101: Part 2 will cover the following: -- Thinking about user interface, art, sound, dialogue, and music -- Basic interactive programming strategies -- Technical tools, including Scratch, StarLogo, Alice, GameStar Mechanic, and Kodu -- Testing and balancing We will work with students on preliminary programming exercises to introduce them to select resources, as well as provide links and reference materials to support their subsequent technical development.


Play Games to Find Cures in Splash! 2009
Generation Cures, a new education and fundraising program at Children's Hospital Boston, invites kids to use their powers for good by playing games that teach them about the scientific research process. As they play and recruit sponsors for an online "game-a-thon," the money they raise goes directly to helping doctors find cures for the most challenging childhood diseases. During this course, students will have an opportunity to play the five levels of the CADUCEUS game, which was designed by researchers at the MIT Education Arcade, and discuss what they learned and the strategies they used to progress through levels. They will also have an opportunity to brainstorm designs for future game levels.


Play Games to Find Cures in Splash! 2009
Generation Cures, a new education and fundraising program at Children's Hospital Boston, invites kids to use their powers for good by playing games that teach them about the scientific research process. As they play and recruit sponsors for an online "game-a-thon," the money they raise goes directly to helping doctors find cures for the most challenging childhood diseases. During this course, students will have an opportunity to play the five levels of the CADUCEUS game, which was designed by researchers at the MIT Education Arcade, and discuss what they learned and the strategies they used to progress through levels. They will also have an opportunity to brainstorm designs for future game levels.