David, David, Jon and Iris founded a small community of like-minded videogamers in the spring of 2011. The group was initially a small gathering of friends that met twice a month, but it eventually blossomed into a large community of gamers from all across campus. Think.Play would not exist today without the continued support of librarians in Knight Library and the UO Science Library, and an initial donation of office supplies from First-Year Programs. The group’s name was a suggestion from Alexander Beeler. Full credit to Jacob Blakely for sign design.
David Baker was a Classroom Technology Specialist in the University of Oregon Libraries’ Center for Media and Educational Technology. He co-founded the library’s Video Games Collection, which circulates console hardware and software to faculty, staff, and students. Co-teaching a Game Studies class in 2011 convinced him of the value of getting students, staff, and faculty involved in engaging critically with (and engaging with each other through) video games. Shortly after, he convened the group of students that would become Think.Play’s first Steering Committee, and to his delight they agreed to do a whole lot of work to get the campus community together to play and discuss video games. Find him on Twitter, Google+; his thoughts on games and play at Pseudoplay.
David Davoodi is a graduate from University of Oregon. He studied Japanese language and business administration. Nevertheless you may see him from time to time coming to meetings, playing in tournaments or giving talks. He first started thinking about games as more than just gameplay when he started playing niche titles you have probably never heard of. He is a self-proclaimed ‘survival horror purist’ and mainly a console gamer. During his time abroad in Japan he got the opportunity to experience gaming culture on the other side of the world (and would love to talk with you about it). He is presently a freelance graphic designer in Portland, OR, making t-shirts, stickers, posters and all sorts of fun trinkets. He is always open to give game recommendations, have a chat about games or talk design. If you ever see him…
Jon simply loves games. He has been picking up controllers and punishing bad guys, collecting power-ups, and breaking high scores since 1996. It wasn’t until college that gaming would become something more than a way to have fun. Realizing that games could be more than simple vessels of fun, he registered for a class in Winter of 2011 that would change his outlook on gaming and life: the Game Studies class. That class solidified his desire to work in the industry in some capacity. Continuously searching for ways to immerse himself in game culture and gain game-related knowledge, he joined the effort to found Think.Play and became part of the first Steering Committee. At the University of Oregon, he is majoring in Computer Science with minors in Business and Multimedia. While not taking classes and planning for his future incursion into the game industry, he is working out the kinks in his own game designs. Follow Jon on Twitter.
Iris Bull studied at the UO from 2007-2014, first as an undergraduate and then as a Media Studies master’s student in the School of Journalism and Communication. During that time, Iris’s research explored the utility of Italian-American ethnicity in mafia-themed videogames, the representation of race and gender in Borderlands (2010) and Borderlands (2012), and the intersection of identity and colonialism in the Borderlands universe. Her chapter in Understanding Minecraft (2014, McFarland), Just Steve: Conventions of Gender in Minecraft, interrogates “genderlessness” on the virtual frontier in Minecraft (2011, Mojang). Her master’s thesis explored this topic further by trying to understand the ways in which language, space, and bodies coproduce experience in virtual world simulations. She moved to Bloomington, IN in the summer of 2014 to pursue a doctorate at Indiana University in the Department of Communication and Culture.
Follow Iris on Twitter.