Named one of Fast Company’s “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education”, GameDesk is a transformative 501(c)(3) nonprofit education ecosystem with a mission to develop the next generation model of education, revolutionizing the way students learn by embedding academic content and assessment into hands-on experiences, digital games, and simulations. Using the most advanced learning tools and methods, GameDesk transforms the learning environment and increases academic success with a mixture of cutting edge R&D, user and evidence centered design, content creation, curriculum development, professional development, and engaging popular technology.
Originally developed out of seven years of research at the University of Southern California, GameDesk has created, tested and evaluated effective game- and play-based curriculum and software throughout various pilots in schools and community centers in the Los Angeles area. The organization’s focus is to help close the achievement gap and to engage students, particularly those that are low-proficient in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. GameDesk embeds STEM content into game-centered projects and focuses on fostering students’ sense of purpose, ownership and personal relevance.
As a dedicated team of innovators, educators, game designers, engineers, inventors, administrators and students seeking a better tomorrow, GameDesk aims to catalyze a major shift in the way society thinks about education and inspires everyone to become part of the movement to make serious learning fun.
For more information about the GameDesk ecosystem, please check out each of the platforms below:
GameDesk Studios creates fun, interactive learning technologies that embed academic content and assessment to promote game-based learning and increase student engagement.
Educade is a revolutionary online portal that bridges traditional teaching methods with what engages youth today--the interactivity of apps, game-based learning and hands-on making.
GameDesk designed and launched PlayMaker, a next generation school that empowers students to create meaningful relationships with knowledge through playing, making, and discovery-based learning.
GameDesk Institute is transforming the educational landscape and advancing learning technologies through research, professional development, at-risk outreach, and playful teaching tools.
Founder/CEO – Lucien Vattel
Executive Assistant – Karin Rosenstiel
Research and Curriculum
Chief Academic Officer – Paula Hidalgo
Research and Curriculum Development – Agustin Molfino
Research and Curriculum Development – Mylo Lam
Research and Curriculum Development – Kevin Keating
Research and Curriculum Development – Sarah White
Marketing and Communications
Marketing and Communications Director – Laurie Ma
Marketing and Communications Manager – Jennifer Jordan
Videographer – Greg Waigand
Chief Creative Officer – Matthew Clausen
UI/UX Designer – Ricardo Aum
Graphic Designer – Tathy Otero
Lead Artist – Jeremy Lobdell
Engineer – John Peters
Engineer – Jake Parker
Engineer – Kevin Paik
Finance and Administration
Finance and Administration Director – Meghan Miller
Administrative Assistant – Maria Gomez
PlayMaker Co-Director – Joe Wise
PlayMaker Faculty – AJ Webster
PlayMaker Faculty – Edward “Tedd” Wakeman
Board of Directors
Chair – Greg Franks – CEO, Tom and Ethel Bradley Foundation
Paul Meegan – Head of Product Development, Epic Games, Former President of LucasArts Entertainment
Bill Nye – Bill Nye the Science Guy, President, The Planetary Society
Mike Diamond – Former Exec. Vice Provost, USC. / Prof. at the Marshall School of Business
Le Trung – Director of The Third Teacher / Architect, Cannon Design
Adam Fletcher – Attorney at Law, Irell & Manella LLP
Dr. Marguerita Lightfoot – UCSF Director of Technology and Information Exchange, Professor
Lucien Vattel – Founder/CEO, GameDesk
Board of Advisors
Jeff B. Cohen, Esq. – Entertainment Attorney, Cohen Gardner LLP
David Birchfield, Ph.D. – Director, SMALLAB
Michael Carter, Ph.D. – Serious Games Designer and Director
Joe Ching – Senior Designer, LucasArts
David Dwyer, Ph.D. – USC Katzman-Ernst Chair in Educational Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Innovation
Kathi Littmann, Ed.D. – Charter School Advisor
John Slaughter, Ph.D. – USC Professor of Engineering and Education, Former NSF Director
Themy Sparangis – Chief Technology Officer, LAUSD
Talma Shultz – CTE Director, Los Angeles Small Schools Center