As Assistant Professor and Chair of Game Art & Design, Elizabeth Keegan is responsible for the support and development of a growing major, as well as teaching courses such as Introduction to Game, Programming for Play, New Realities in AR/VR and Special Topics courses. In this role, she emphasizes commitment to extending the design and production of games which embrace unique design challenges beyond just trends in entertainment, encouraging design through lenses such as education, health, and social impact. She believes games, their production, and play to offer a robust environment for community engagement, collaboration, critical thinking, and more. With this, equitable access to games education is paramount; an initiative that is at the heart of this program and her practice.

Keegan joined CCAD in 2018 in the role of Assistant Professor of Game Art within the Animation program, where she continued the development of curriculum and engaged in community building; efforts that would then support the foundation of a new major. With each year she worked alongside faculty, staff and students to shift the perception of what games could mean, leaning on those strengths unique to Columbus. Some of her proudest moments were overseeing the development of two games titles at CCAD: 100 Hours Till Launch and Smokey’s Scouts.

Both 100 Hours Till Launch, a print and play title addressing “crunch culture,” and Smokey’s Scouts, a whimsical match-3 promoting wildfire prevention and fire safety, were monumental endeavors that placed CCAD students at the forefront of game production, affording them opportunities to build interactive works in a classroom environment with real-world impact. Keegan, alongside community partners, took on the lead role in co-designing, development, production, fabrication, and marketing so these games could reach players’ hands.

From behind-the-scenes design to spearheading game programs, Keegan’s creative background is heavily rooted in games education, promoting equitable access to tech learning and social engagement through collaboration and play. Keegan has led teams in the development of titles such as the Turing Test Tournament (UC Berkeley), a unique web VR tour of Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt Keeping Tabs: A Holocaust Sculpture (SocialVR, Notre Dame College, Community Day School Pittsburgh), and a VRChat experience celebrating CCAD’s Class of 2020 seniors during COVID-19 quarantine. Additionally, Keegan leads students in participating in the annual Global Game Jam.