Sandra Danilovic

Supervisor: Brian Cantwell Smith

Sandra Danilovic

Supervisor: Brian Cantwell Smith

I am a PhD Candidate in Information Studies at the University of Toronto working in the digital humanities. I study the poetics and creative praxis of computer game design and development in community contexts (i.e. game jams).

In my dissertation, I study how game designers render their autopathographical narratives—first-person experiences with mental illness, emotional trauma, and disability— into a computer game. My theoretical expertise is in digital media theory, game studies, autobiographical studies, aesthetics, narratology, and subjectivity (phenomenology). As a qualitative researcher, I conduct data-driven theorization and build practice-driven theory. I specialize in qualitative research methodologies such as grounded theory and research creation—an arts-based methodology for generating creative works.

As part of community involvement, I have facilitated and organized several game jams and game design workshops at U of T and OCADU. I regularly teach interactive storytelling and text-based game design using the Twine software. I currently teach a design course, “Creating Inclusive Communities Online” (INCD-6005) in the Master of Inclusive Design Program (MDes) at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU).

I am also an artist-filmmaker and designer with an extensive professional background. I am a member of Toronto’s feminist game development space, Dames Making Games. My semi-autobiographical machinima documentary, Second Bodies, won Best Documentary at the New Media Film Festival in San Francisco, 2010. My previous one-hour documentaries explored immigrant narratives set within archival and contemporary contexts; Portrait of a Street: The Soul and Spirit of College (2001) and Just Arrived (2004) were respectively broadcast on American PBS and Rogers OMNI Television.

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