Suzanne Kay Stein

Supervisor: Robin Mansell|

Research Topic: The Emergence of Moral Games: Innovation and Conflict

Research Summary: The emergent discourse around Interactive Entertainment is laden with revolutionizing statements, despair over the inability to deliver on these promises and a peculiar feeling that we have been waiting 10 years (at least) for a phenomena that has not yet arrived - our everyday lives go untransformed. This discourse persists despite actual transformation in routines, behaviours and attitudes around adopted new interactive entertainment forms, which are multiple and various (from mobile phone applications, game consoles, web and installation works). And the success and failures may not have helped an industry come closer to understanding its audiences and what they do with or how they enjoy these works. Everyone seems to be still waiting - despite the apparent uptake of new entertainment media.

The research is concerned broadly with technology, art and everyday life and in particular, the emergence of a new media form, narrative based interactive entertainment. Of central concern, is 1) the discourse construction in the popular literature that envisions the new forms and their social effects and 2) how this construction has empirical expression in development contexts.

By exploring the process of production from ideation to audience reception and the discourses created and circulated about these forms, I aim to form a theory of understanding the social construction, dimensions and significance of the 'not yet arrived'.

Biography

Suzanne has been a research and creative consultant to IT sector for 7 years, forerunning and anticipating the importance of the new discipline of User Experience.

She is the founder of Everyday Life, a research consultancy that specializes in the application of ethnographic inquiry to identify opportunities in business processes and positioning, including product and services offerings refinement and innovation. Everyday Life applies a range of research methods from initial ethnographic exploratory techniques, to concept vetting and refinement to feature and functionality testing, including usability testing.

Suzanne is also a Mentor in the Interactive Project Lab, an innovation network that spans three Canadian institutions (Canadian Film Centre, Banff Centre for the Arts, and INIS), developing innovative, interactive entertainment works.

Suzanne recently left Sapient Corporation, a business and technology consultancy, where she was the Discipline Lead for the Experience Modeling (XMod) group in London, an innovative group of diverse social scientists dedicated to developing solutions that fit neatly into the lives of users. She was also a Director in the User Experience Group, overseeing Creative development and articulation as well as the research offerings. Suzanne also managed a global research project with Surrey University to understand how ethnography can inform design (also headed by Rick Robinson and Nina Wakeford).

Prior to this, she was the Director of New Movements and Insights and Director of Project Management at X Corporation Unlimited, a communications and design firm.

Suzanne currently teaches "Interactive Media and Narrative Theory" in the Interactive Entertainment and Art Programme at Bell habitat, Canadian Film Centre, where she has taught for the last 6 years.

She was also seminar leader at Sussex University (Brighton, England), for "Introduction to Mass Communications", and has guest lectured at University of Toronto, Ryerson University and the University of Brighton.

She is also a Board member for the Contemporary Arts Society's new division, Blood.

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