This is the eighth article in the series The Academics Are Coming.
Die Gute Fabrik's Doug Wilson tipped me off that Chaim Gingold might be a suitable interview subject for the series. But who is Chaim Gingold?
Well, he completed an MS in Digital Media at Georgia Tech then went into the games industry. To a job at Maxis, to be precise: Gingold was the design lead for all of Spore's Creators. He went independent in 2008, doing freelance work and creating two iPhone games - MinMe and Earth Dragon. He's now working on a personal project called Geology: An Interactive Primer, one of last year's IndieCade finalists, a geological toybox that teaches through experimentation.
But that's not the important bit: Gingold is currently engaged in a PhD at UC Santa Cruz's Expressive Intelligence Studio.
Why has a successful mainstream games developer gone back to school? In the following interview, Gingold exposes a larger question about what it means to be "games studies academic".