Hear from four alums of the graduate program in Comparative Media Studies as they discuss their experience at MIT and what their careers have looked like in the fields a CMS degree prepared them for.
Matthew Weise, ’04, a game designer and educator whose work spans industry and academia. He is the CEO of Empathy Box, a company that specializes in narrative design for games and across media. He was the Narrative Designer at Harmonix Music Systems on Fantasia: Music Evolved, the Game Design Director of the GAMBIT Game Lab at MIT, and a consultant for Warner Bros., Microsoft, PBS, The National Ballet of Spain, and others on storytelling and game design. His work, both creatively and critically, focuses on transmedia adaptation with an emphasis on the challenges of adapting cinema into video games. Matt has given lectures and workshops on film-to-game adaptation all over the world, and has published work on how franchises like Alien, James Bond, and horror cinema in general are adapted into games. Links to his writing and game design work, including his IGF nominated The Snowfield, can be found at www.matthewweise.com.
Karen Schrier, ’05, an educator, innovator, and creative researcher who is always looking for collaborators and new connections. She is an Associate Professor at Marist College and Director of the Games and Emerging Media program. She also runs the Play Innovation Lab, where she researches and creates games that support learning, ethical reflection, and compassion. Her recent book, Knowledge Games, was published last year (Johns Hopkins University Press), and was covered by Forbes, New Scientist, Times Higher Education, and SiriusXM. Dr. Schrier also edits the book series, Learning, Education & Games, which is published by ETC Press (Carnegie Mellon), and she is the president of the Learning, Education & Games group of the IGDA (International Game Developers Association). She holds a doctorate from Columbia University, master’s from MIT, and a bachelor’s from Amherst College. In addition, Karen and her family (husband, cats, 5 year old and 2 year old) currently live in the Hudson Valley but are hoping to move to Pound Ridge, NY in the winter.
Ainsley Sutherland, ’15, a media technologist and researcher working in immersive computing and human-computer interaction design. Her project Voxhop, a tool for voice collaboration in virtual reality, is a 2017 j360 Challenge winner funded by the Knight Foundation and Google News Lab. She was a 2016 fellow at the BuzzFeed Open Lab, as well as a researcher in the Imagination, Computation, and Expression Lab at MIT. She has cofounded Mediate, an MIT DesignX-backed company that enables collaboration in and analysis of 3D environments. She has an M.S. from MIT in Comparative Media Studies, and a B.A. from the University of Chicago, in Economics.
Beyza Boyacioglu, ’17, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and artist. Her work has been presented at MoMA Doc Fortnight, IDFA DocLab, Morelia International Film Festival, RIDM, Anthology Film Archives amongst other venues and festivals. She has received grants and fellowships from LEF Foundation, MIT Council for the Arts, Flaherty Seminar, SALT Research and Greenhouse Seminar. She was an artist in residence at UnionDocs in 2012 where she co-directed “Toñita’s” — a documentary portrait of the last Puerto Rican social club in Williamsburg. She is currently producing a cross-platform documentary about Turkey’s gender-bending pop legend Zeki Müren. The project is comprised of a feature film “A Prince from Outer Space: Zeki Müren”, a hotline and a web experience. Currently, Boyacioglu works as a Producer at the MIT Open Documentary Lab.