David O’Grady teaches the digital culture course at CSULB and is a PhD candidate in the Cinema and Media Studies program at UCLA, where he is also a researcher at the UCLA Game Laband co-directorof the lab’s Summer Institute program. He has written about visual media for various publications, and his scholarly work reflects interests in interactive digital media, videogames, contemporary cinema, and documentary film. His dissertation is examining the concept of video game interactivity and the implications of interface controller design and use on the experience of play. David is also a board member of [in]Transition online media journal, former assistant editor of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and a frequent peer reviewer for the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA).
Games and play—all forms, including videogames
Phenomenology, spatiality,and embodiment
Streaming media—“Peak” TV and other web-based visual media
Digital journalism and communications
UCLA– September 2006 to present
C. Phil., Cinema and Media Studies, advanced to candidacy June 2010
Dissertation (in progress): “Being in Control: Video Game Interfaces and the Experience of Play.” Committee: Stephen Mamber(advisor), Chon Noriega, Vivian Sobchack, Eddo Stern
M.A., Cinema and Media Studies, June 2008
San Francisco State University– Winter 2004
Extension coursework in Film History
University of Missouri– May 1991
B.J. with honors, School of Journalism
Launched independent magazine featuring creative writing and visual arts, and served as features editor for the Columbia Missourian, a city daily newspaper
Book chapter on “NES D-pad Controller: Interface” in How to Play Video Games. Matthew Thomas Payne and Nina B. Huntemann, editors. NYU Press, 2019.
“Touchscreen Games,” “Biomechanics,” and “Gestural Interfaces.” Entries for the Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming (Second Edition). Greenwood/ABC-CLIO, forthcoming 2020.
“About the UCLA Game Lab.” Interview with game artists Eddo Stern. UCLA Game Lab, March 2018.
“Movies in theGameworld: RevisitingtheVideo Game CutsceneandItsTemporal Implications.” In The Game Culture Reader, ed. Jason Thompson and Marc Ouellette. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.
“Biomechanics” and “Gestural Interfaces.” Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming. Greenwood/ABC-CLIO, 2012.
“‘This is an Adventure’: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and the Spectacle of Nature Documentary.” New Review of Film and Television Studies10, no. 1. March 2012.
Recent Conference Papers
“A Tilted ‘Revolution’: Stern’s Orbitor1and the Outer Limits of Pinball Design and Play,” SouthwestPopular/American Culture Association Annual Conference (February 2020).
“Stranger Than Metafiction: The Magic of Metatextual Nostalgia and Nostalgic Metatext in Stranger Things,”roundtable,SouthwestPopular/American Culture Association Annual Conference (February 2020).
“First-Person Soother: Playing Toward Altered States with ASMR Videos,” SouthwestPopular/American Culture Association Annual Conference (February 2019). Also serving as chair for the panel, “Liminal Interactivity: Playing at the Edge of Control.”
“Stop Trying to Control Everything: Interactive Restraint and Enactive Enlightenment in Video Games,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, March 2018.
“Extinct to the MAX! Excavating Interface Evolution from D-Pad to ThumbstickControl,”Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Annual Conference,February 2016. Also served as chair for a panel on phenomenology and board/tabletop games.
Co-coordinator, UCLA Game Lab virtual reality exhibit, at Transforming Hollywood 6 Annual Conference, UCLA, May 2015.
Producer and Co-chair of “Teaching Games in Co-Op Mode: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum Workshop.” Day-long games pedagogy workshop attended by about 20 game artist/scholars hosted at UCLA Game Lab, April 10, 2015.
“A Rift in the Oculus: Some Consequences of Virtual Reality for Videogame Design and Interface Aesthetics,” Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Annual Conference, February 2015. Also served as chair for a panel on gender and board/tabletop games.
“Domesticating Interactivity: Examining Early Industry Efforts to Introduce Videogames to the Home.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, March 2014. Also co-chaired panel, “Videogaming’s Undefined, Defining Feature: Exploring the Origins, Manifestations, and Limits of Interactivity.”
“Getting a Feel for It: Designing Video Game Interactivity.” Southwest/Texas PCA/ACA Annual Conference, February 2012.
“Interactive Fallout: Cinematic and Ludic Temporalities in Fallout 3.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, March 2011.
“Interactivity Interruptus: Game Freezes, Cutscenes, and Ludic Time in Fallout 3.” National PCA/ACA Conference, April 2011.
Panel chair, “Saving the Game: New Approaches to Preserving Videogame Culture.” At “Reimagining the Archive: Remapping and Remixing Traditional Models in the Digital Era,” a UCLA-hosted symposium, November 2010. Panelists: Henry Lowood, Ken McAllister, Judd Ruggill, Megan Winget.
“Beyond the Button: New Video Game Interfaces and the Implications for Embodiment, Performance, and Play.” Southwest/Texas PCA/ACA Annual Conference, February 2010.
“Beyond the Button: New Video Game Interfaces and the Implications for Embodiment, Performance, and Play.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, March 2010 (panel rescheduled from 2009).