Indiana University

People | Graduate Students

Ken Rosenberg

PhD Student
The Media School
kenarose 'at' indiana 'dot' edu



The medium of the video game has great societal and academic potential. Interactive digital systems of learning, framed with the playful and egalitarian construct of gaming, have the power to optimize people's behavior—even their emotional experience and well-being. Video games are popular enough that, even if we do not choose to completely embrace games as a total cultural paradigm, we must at least study them to confront the stifling nature of their current iteration. In my time at IU, I hope to begin my own contribution to what is, in my opinion, a vital discussion.

I received my B.A. in Communication at the University of South Florida before migrating (just across the hall) for a Master's in Mass Communications. My thesis was an attempt to synthesize existent literature to establish a scale of video game literacy. I have assisted with several introductory-level courses. I have designed and taught one six-week summer course. I used to write for the Telecomm department's graduate student blog.

I am beginning research into how immersion, presence, and control schemes might influence parasocial interaction, empathy, and moral decision-making in a virtual environment, and how morality is shaped by and performed in a game-like context. I am also interested in examining commercial games,seeing how systems and mechanics interact, to determine if the tropes of game design in the industry are potentially hindering the development of moral interaction. My preferred methods are survey research, in-depth interviews, and laboratory-based experiments. Ultimately, I would like to design small-scale games for research that can inform others’ game design principles.

I also organize a multidisciplinary, grad-only social club of gaming researchers, the Monthly Meeting of Researchers Playing Games (MMORPG). We're currently working on Researchers at Play, a blog dedicated to documenting research projects and covering game-related news related to research, with a focus on what it takes for graduate students to successfully conduct social scientific studies involving virtual environments.