David Simkins, PhD
School of Interactive Games and Media
B. Thomas Golisano College of
Computing and Information Sciences

Contact Information

Email: dwsigm@rit.edu
Phone: 773-459-3315
Office location: GOL 2521

Education

University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2011
PhD Curriculum and Instruction (major), Learning Sciences (minor), Constance Steinkuehler (advisor), Negotiation, Simulation, and Shared Fantasy: Learning Through Live Action Role Play (dissertation).

University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008
MS Curriculum and Instruction (major), Constance Steinkuehler (advisor), Critical Ethical Reasoning and Role Play (master’s thesis).

Earlham College, 1993
BA History and Philosophy (majors).

Academic Employment

August 2012 to present. Assistant Professor in the School of Interactive Games and Media, Rochester Institute of Technology.

August 2011 to May 2012. Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Interactive Games and Media, Rochester Institute of Technology.

Non-Academic Employment

Project Manager for training development team for OR-KIDS (OR state DHS), 2010
Led a team of 15 curriculum designers and programmers developing web-based training and classroom training for an enterprise case management system for the state of Oregon’s department of human services. Developed and maintained a training database to emulate the function of the case management system in a training environment.

Project Manager and Project Assistant for games+learning+society (GLS), 2004-2008
Responsible for the oversight of renovation projects, the development and maintenance of a computer lab, research spaces, and offices. Participated as an organizer for the GLS conference, including as co-chair and facilities manager.

Training Developer
FACTS2 (Philadelphia), 2007-2008
WiSACWIS (WI State DHS), 2003-2004
SACWIS (IL state DCFS), 2001-2002
Creation, maintenance, and delivery of web based and classroom instruction for enterprise case management systems for city and state divisions of child welfare.

News Editor for Daily Radar, 2000-2001
Writer and editor for an online magazine covering the video games industry.

Media Communications Specialist for the University of Illinois-UC, 1999-2000
Writer, editor, and web developer for the web-based documentation of the University enterprise I-Card system.

Teaching

Curricular Development
All courses are in the School of Interactive Games and Media, RIT.
602 Graduate Game Design, Fall 2013-2014
788 Capstone Design, Fall 2013-2014
222 Game Software Development II, Spring 2012-2013
221 Game Software Development I, Winter 2012-2013
590 Seminar on Games and Learning, undergraduate and graduate, Winter 2012-2013.
702T History of Computer Games, graduate, Fall 2012-2013.
590 Seminar on Critical Ethical Reasoning in Skyrim, undergraduate, Spring 2011-2012.
732 Game Design, graduate, Winter 2011-12
380 Game Design and Development I, undergraduate, Winter 2011-12.
728 Interactive Narrative, graduate, Fall 2011-2012.
791 History of Computer Games, graduate, Fall 2011-2012.

MS Capstone advising
Hogue, Alex – Shady Dealings, 2013-present.
Johnson, Preston – AV, 2013-present.
Kaufmann, Matthew – Shady Dealings, 2013-present.
Krishnan, Avinash – Shady Dealings, 2013-present.
Lynn, Douglas – AV, 2013-present.
Saxon, Anthony – Shady Dealings, 2013-present.
Wild, Daniel – Shady Dealings, 2013-present.
Burst, Ryan – Driftwood RP, 2012-present
Strothers, Julian – LARP Tools, 2012 – present.
Van de Mark, Cody – Driftwood RP, 2012-2013.

Co-op advising
Dustin Kochensparger, 2012-2013
Blake Gross, 2012-2013
Matthew De Novio, 2012-2013
Amanda Imperial, 2012-2013
Torey Scheer, 2012-2013
Kyle Haas, 2013
Michelle Leitner, 2013
Allen, Michael: UI and Level Designer, Astral Bear Studios, Spring 2011-12.
Arnold, Timothy: :Lead Programmer, Astral Bear Studios, Spring 2011-12.
Rapp, Jeffrey: :Lead Sesigner, Astral Bear Studios, Spring 2011-12.
Jung, Lawrence: Project Manager, Astral Bear Studios, Winter, 2011-12.
Rosenberg, Jason: Game Programmer, Astral Bear Studios, Winter, 2011-12.
Independent Studies
Daniel Shumway – Game Development and Entrepreneurship, Fall 2013-2014
Ferguson, Matthew – Level Design for MOBA, Spring 2012-2013
Phillips, William: Detritus – A non-standard fantasy game setting, Fall 2012-2013.
Link, Robert – Empathy, perspective, and critical ethical reasoning in RP game design, Spring 2011-12.
Phillips, William – Empathy, perspective, and critical ethical reasoning in RP game design, Spring 2011-12.
Strothers, Julian – Empathy, perspective, and critical ethical reasoning in RP game design, Spring 2011-12.
Wilkinson, Andrew – Empathy, perspective, and critical ethical reasoning in RP game design, Spring 2011-12.
Xu, Jia – Empathy, perspective, and critical ethical reasoning in RP game design, Spring 2011-12.
Bigsby, Elijah – Tabletop RPG Design, Winter 2011-2012.
Dobler, Matthew – Tabletop RPG Design, Winter 2011-2012.
Gartung, Amber – Tabletop RPG Design, Winter 2011-2012.
James, William – Tabletop RPG Design, Winter 2011-2012.
Leitner, Michelle – Tabletop RPG Design, Winter 2011-2012.
Mack, Alexandria – Tabletop RPG Design, Winter 2011-2012.
Massaro, Robert – Tabletop RPG Design, Winter 2011-2012.
Smith, Stephen – Tabletop RPG Design, Winter 2011-2012.
Venezuela, Kurt – Tabletop RPG Design, Winter 2011-2012.

Grants,  Academic Consulting Contracts, & Gifts

Martha Madison’s Marvelous Machines, NSF SBIR phase 2, 2012-present.
TARGETS, primary investigator, DoEd SBIR phase 1, 2012-2013.
Frontier, Academic Consulting Contract, JP Morgan Chase Technology for Social Good, 2012-2013.
Pox in the City, NIH, 2012-2013.
Martha Madison’s Marvelous Machines, NSF SBIR phase 1, 2011-2012.

Scholarship

Publications – Peer Reviewed
* Simkins, D. (in press). Assessing videogames for learning. In Learning and Educational Games: Handbook of Games and Learning (tentative), Karen Schrier (Ed.). Pittsburg, PA: ETC Press.
* Decker, A., & Simkins, D. (2013). You have died of dysentery: A first attempt at navigating a course in educational games. Journal of Interactive Humanities 1(1), 1-12.
* Simkins, D., Dikkers, S., & Owen, E. (2012). Unbroken Immersion. Well Played 2(1), 13-25. Pittsburg, PA: ETC Press.
* Steinkuehler, C., King, E., Alagoz, E., Anton, G., Chu, S., Elmergreen, J., Fahser-Herro, D., Harris, S., Martin, C., Ochsner, A., Oh, Y., Owen, E., Simkins, D., Williams, C., & Zhang, B. (2011). Let me know when she stops talking: Using games for learning without colonizing play. In C. Steinkuehler, C. Martin, & A. Ochsner (Eds.) Proceedings of GLS 7.0 games+learning+society Conference. Pittsburg, PA: ETC Press.
* Simkins, D. (2010). Playing with ethics: Experiencing new ways of being through role play. In K. Schrier & D. Gibson (Eds.) Ethics and game design: Teaching values through play. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
* Simkins, D. & Steinkuehler, C. (2008). Critical ethical reasoning & role play. Games & culture, 3, 333-355.
* Steinkuehler, C. A., Duncan, S. C. & Simkins, D. W. (2007) Massively multiplayer online games & education: An outline of research. In C. Chinn, G. Erkins, and S. Puntambekar, (Eds.) Proceedings of the eighth conference of computer supported collaborative learning (pp. 674-694), New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University.

Publications – Not Peer Reviewed
Simkins, D. (in press). The arts of LARP: Design, literacy, learning and community in live action role playing. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
Decker, A., Simkins, D., & Egert, C. A. (2013). TARGETS exploratory study II: Investigating chemistry content learning through an augmented reality card game. White paper completed in partial fulfillment of DoEd SBIR Phase I grant.
Simkins, D., Decker, A., & Egert, C. A. (2013). TARGETS: Transmedia augmented reality game for essential transfer in science. White paper completed in partial fulfillment of DoEd SBIR Phase I grant.
Egert, C. A. & Simkins, D. (2011). Martha Madison’s Marvelous Machines Instructional Assessment Report. White paper completed in partial fulfillment of NSF SBIR phase I grant.
Simkins, D. (2011). Negotiation, simulation, and shared fantasy: Learning through live action role play. A dissertation submitted to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Presentations – Invited & Peer Reviewed
Simkins, D. (2013). LARP and Learning. A Presentation at Intercon M, Chelmsford, MA, March 1-3.
Simkins, D., Egert, C., & Decker, A. (2012). Evaluating Martha Madison: Developing analytical tools for gauging the breadth of learning facilitated by STEM games. Presented at the International Games Innovation Conference (IEEE), Rochester, NY. September 7-9.
Simkins, D. Creating immersive work. Presented at Gen Con 2012, Indianapolis, IN, August 16-19.
Simkins, D. (2012). Well Played: Skyrim. Presented at the games+learning+society (GLS) Conference8.0. Madison, WI. June 13-15.
Simkins, D. (2011). Engaging self-awareness: Live action role playing as a transformative practice. Poster presented at the games+learning+society (GLS) Conference 7.0. Madison, WI. June 15-17.
Simkins, D. (2011). Playing with Ethics: Experiencing New Ways of Being in RPGs. Presented at SITE 2011. Nashville, TN. March 9-11.
Simkins, D. (2009). Negotiating a virtual economy. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). San Diego, CA. April 13-17.
Steinkuehler, C., King, E., Fahser-Herro, D., Simkins, D., & Alagoz, E. (2009). Digital literacies for the disengaged: Creating after school online game based environments for
boys. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). San Diego, CA. April 13-17.
Steinkuehler, C., Duncan, S., King, E., Simkins, D., Fahser-Herro, D. & Alagoz, E. (2009). Mixed methods research in virtual worlds. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). San Diego, CA. April 13-17.
Simkins, D. (2008). Creating engaging ethical conflict for games & learning. Poster presented at the annual Games, Learning & Society (GLS) Conference, Madison, WI, July 10-11.
Steinkuehler, C., King, E,M., Fahser-Herro, D., Simkins, D., & Alagoz, E. (2008). Digital literacies for the disengaged: Creating after school contexts to support boysʼ game- based literacy skills. Workshop presented at the 7th Conference on Interaction Design & Children, Evanston, IL, June 11-13.
Simkins, D. (2008). Critical ethical reasoning in role play. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). New York. March 24-28.
Steinkuehler, C., Simkins, D., & Duncan, S. (2007) Massively multiplayer online games & education: An outline of research, presentation to the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Conference, New Brunswick, NJ, July 16-21.
Steinkuehler, C., Duncan, S., Simkins, D., Johnson, B.Z., & King, E. (2007). Science literacy in virtual worlds. Presented at the annual Games, Learning & Society (GLS) Conference, Madison, WI, June 12-13.
Steinkuehler, C. & Simkins, D. (2007). Cross-functional teams in the new third place. Presented at the Online Game Developers Conference, Seattle, WA, May 10-11.
Steinkuehler, C. A. & Simkins, D. (2005). Managing guild leaders. Presented at the Austin Games Conference, Austin, TX, October 27-28.
Simkins, D. (2005) Critical ethics in popular role playing games. Presented at the CAL05 conference, Bristol, UK, July 4-6.

Grants
Co-PI for Frontier: A financial literacy game (2013). J.P. Morgan Chase: $200,000.
PI for Martha Madison’s Marvelous Machines (2012-14). National Science Foundation SBIR phase 2: $600,000.
Consultant for Just Press Play (2011-2013). Microsoft: $250,000.
Consultant for Pox in the City (2012-2013). National Endowment for the Humanities: $38,860.
Co-PI for Martha Madison’s Marvelous Machines (2011). National Science Foundation SBIR phase 1: $50,000.

Creative Work (select)
Pierson, K., Simkins, D., Wilson, R., Vig, S., & Silver, D. (2011-12) Gateway: Eventide. Live action role playing event. Chicago, IL. 2011 Dates: 7/16, 9/17, 11/19. 2012 Dates: 1/21, 3/17, 5/19, 7/21, 9/15, 11/17. 2013 Dates: 1/18, 3/15.
Simkins, D. (2012) Kung Fu Justice: Myrmidons. Event presented at Gen Con 2012, Indianapolis, IN, August 16-19.
Malony, M., Simkins, D., & Malony, S. (2012) Sky High: Graduation day. Event presented at Gen Con 2012, Indianapolis, IN, August 16-19.
Brinkley, C., Malony, M., & Simkins, D. (2012) The man who bought the sky. Event presented at Gen Con 2012, Indianapolis, IN, August 16-19.

Service

RIT Service
2013 NY State Senate Committee
2013 GCCIS Subcommittee on Faculty Success
2012-2014 IGM Graduate Admissions Committee.

Professional Service
2014 Advisory Council Member, Seekers Unlimited
2014 RPG Summit Chair, DiGRA 2014
2014 Peer Reviewer, Games, Learning, and Society Conference.
2010-2013 Peer Reviewer, American Education Research Association Conference.
2009-2010 Peer Reviewer, Games and Culture Journal.
2006 Co-Chair, Games, Learning and Society Conference 2.0
2005 Facilities Manager, Games, Learning and Society Conference

Affiliations
2014 Seekers Unlimited Advisory Council
2013-present RIT MAGIC Studios
2005-2009 PopCosmo Research Group, Constance Steinkuehler, UW Madison, Founding Member
2005-2011 American Educational Research Association
2005-present Games, Learning and Society, Founding Member
2004-2005 Games and Professional Practice, Founding Member