Game Design and Why It Matters

James Portnow
Monday, February 15, 2016 - 8:00pm
Great Hall, Memorial Union
Event Type: 


James Portnow is perhaps best known for writing Extra Credits, a web series that explores topics in games and the gaming industry. A game designer and consultant known for his theories on socially positive design, Portnow will discuss the responsibility the gaming industry has as one of the biggest entertainment media. Portnow received his Masters from Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center, went on to work for Activision as a designer on the Call of Duty series before raising funds to start his own company, Divide by Zero Games. He currently serves as the CEO of Rainmaker Games, a design and consulting firm that has worked with partners from Zynga to Riot Games.


After graduating from St. John’s College with an undergraduate degree in classics, James Portnow almost bypassed the game industry altogether. It was only through his last-minute discovery of the Carnegie Mellon Technology Entertainment Center that he abandoned his previous decision to attend law school to pursue a Master’s in Entertainment Technology instead.

Co-Sponsored By:

Computer Science
Software Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Game Development Club
School of Education
Committee on Lectures (funded by Student Government)

James Portnow.pdf