Indiana University

People | Graduate Students

Craig Harkness

The Media School
harknesc 'at' indiana 'dot' edu



At 10 years old I loaded the first cassette into the Amstrad CPC464 my parents bought me for Christmas and ever since I have had a love for games and how they are made. My passion for the medium and interest in its production has never left me and eventually lead to my graduation from the University of Portsmouth with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Games Technology.

Undertaking a placement year as part of my degree, I spent a year working with the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries as a Virtual Learning Assistant where I designed an Alternate Reality Game for the Portsmouth Centre for Enterprise to teach the fundamentals of business, the concept for which has since been adopted and modified for use by the University of Leeds and the University of Abertay.

During my time as an undergraduate I also took part in Dare To Be Digital 2009, an international games development competition with participants from countries such as Canada, France, Norway, Sweden, India and China. In my role as designer and producer I led a team of five students in the creation of a game prototype that won the Intel Visual Adrenaline Award. While competing at Dare, I was mentored by professionals from video games companies such as Rockstar, Blitz, SEGA and Rare, and the game received acclaim at both the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and on the Intel stand at GDC Austin.

After graduating, I returned to the University of Portsmouth as a Research Associate assisting in the construction of a virtual world for use in collaborative problem based learning as part of a European Union (Interreg) funded project in partnership with CESI, a French institution for professional training and higher education.

In addition to games I am also interested in film and visual effects. I have been fortunate enough to be a Student Volunteer at the ACM SIGGRAPH conference for the last three years, which has enabled me to see first-hand what is happening on the bleeding edge of all of computer graphics and interactive technologies, as well as meet the industry leaders of tomorrow in these fields. The past two years I have been selected as a Team Leader, one of 22 students selected to help manage the over 300 regular student volunteers that donate their time over the course of the conference.

Pursuing my MS in Telecommunications (Design & Production), my current interests are in game and user interface design as well as how psychophysiological measures can be used to inform design choices. I hope that my time at IU will allow me to expand on my current leadership and design skills and further prepare me to gain entry into the games industry.

When not playing games and getting to call it research I like to travel, as well as enjoying photography, watching films, listening to music and enjoying some of the many shows on offer here in Bloomington.

I also spell colour with a u.