Katherine Isbister

Katherine Isbister

Associate Professor

Computer Science and Engineering

Biography

Katherine isbister is director of the Game Innovation Lab at NYU-Poly, serves on the Presidium of the MAGNET center, and is jointly appointed as a faculty member of the NYU Game Center. She has written two books: Better Game Characters by Design and Game Usability. Better Game Characters was nominated for a Game Developer Magazine Frontline Award.  Isbister serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Human Computer Studies,  and is a Senior Member of the ACM. In 1999 she was selected as one of MIT Technology Review's TR100 Young Innovators most likely to shape the future of technology. Her research has appeared in Wired, the New York Times, Forbes, and on NPR and BBC programs, among other venues.

Journal Articles

  • Isbister, K. (2012). Day in the Lab: NYU-Poly Game Innovation Lab. Interactions, September/October 2012.
  • Isbister, K. (2011). Emotion and Motion: Games as Inspiration for Shaping the Future of Interface. Interactions, September/October 2011.

  • Laaksolahti, J., Isbister, K. and Höök, K. (2009). Using the sensual evaluation instrument. Digital Creativity 20(3): 165-175.
  • Isbister, K., Höök, K., Laaksolahti, J., & Sharp, M. (2007). Sensual evaluation instrument: Developing a trans-cultural self-report measure of affect. International journal of human-computer studies 65(4): 315-328.

  • Isbister, K., & Höök, K. (2007). Evaluating affective interactions. Introduction to special issue of International journal of human-computer studies 65(4): 273-274.
  • Nakanishi, H., & Isbister, K. (2007). Agent technology embedded in videogames. Information processing society of Japan journal 48(3): 250-256.
     

Other Publications

  • Karlesky, M., Melcer, E., and Isbister, K. (2013). Open Sesame: Re-envisioning the Design of a Gesture-Based Access Control System. Work in Progress to be presented at CHI 2013, Paris, France (short paper in conference proceedings).
  • Karlesky, M. and Isbister, K. (2013). Fidget Widgets: Secondary Playful Interactions in Support of Primary Serious Tasks. Work in Progress to be presented at CHI 2013, Paris, France (short paper in conference proceedings).
  • Plass, J., Homer, B., Kinzer, C., Chang, Y.K., Frye, J., Kaczetow, W., Isbister, K. and Perlin, K. (2013). Metrics in Simulations and Games for Learning. In Seif El-Nasr, M., Drachen, A., and Canossa, A. (Eds.) Game Analytics: Maximizing the Value of Player Data. Springer Verlag. 
  • Isbister, K. (2012). How to Stop Being a Buzzkill: Designing Yamove!, A Mobile Tech Mash-up to Truly Augment Social Play. Keynote presentation, abstract included in Proceedings of MobileHCI 2012, San Francisco, CA.
  • Sae-Bae, N., Ahmed, K., Isbister, K. and Memon, N. (2012). Biometric-Rich Gestures: A Novel Approach to Authentication on Multi-touch Devices. Proceedings of CHI 2012, Austin, TX.
  • Sae-Bae, N., Memon, N. and Isbister, K. (2012). Investigating Multi-touch Gestures as a Novel Biometric Modality. Proceedings of Fifth International Conference on Biometrics: Theory, Applications and Systems.
  • Isbister, K., Karlesky, M., and Frye, J. (2012). Scoop! Using Movement to Reduce Math Anxiety and Affect Confidence. Interactivity exhibition at CHI 2012 (Short paper included in Conference Proceedings).
  • Isbister, K., Karlesky, M., and Frye, J. (2012). Scoop! Using Movement to Reduce Math Anxiety and Affect Confidence. Research game presentation at Foundations of Digital Games conference (short paper included in Conference Proceedings).
  • Isbister, Schwekendiek, Frye. (2011). Wriggle: An Exploration of Social and Emotional Effects of Movement. Work in Progress presented at CHI 2011. (Short paper included in Conference Proceedings).
  • Isbister, Rao, Schwekendiek, Hayward, Lidasan. (2011). Is More Movement Better? A Controlled Comparison of Movement-based Games. Poster presented at Foundations of Digital Gaming 2011, Bordeaux, France. (Short paper included in Conference Proceedings).
  • Hash and Isbister, (2011). Reactive Animation and Gameplay Experience: Comparative Prototyping with Procedural Animation. Poster presented at Foundations of Digital Gaming 2011, Bordeaux, France. (Short paper included in Conference Proceedings).
  • Seif El-Nasr, Isbister, Ventrella, Aghabeigi, Hash, Erfani, Morie, Bishko. (2011). Body Buddies: Social Signaling through Puppeteering. HCI International 2011.
  • Kaye, J., Laaksolahti, J., Höök, K., Isbister, K. (2011) The Design and Evaluation Process, In Paolo Petta, Catherine Pelachaud and Roddy Cowie (eds), Emotion-Oriented Systems, The Humaine Handbook, pp. 637-652, Springer.
  • Fernaeus, Y., Isbister, K., Höök, K., Laaksolahti, J., and Sundström, P. (2011) Understanding Users and Their Situation, In Paolo Petta, Catherine Pelachaud and Roddy Cowie (eds), Emotion-Oriented Systems, The Humaine Handbook, pp. 653-666, Springer.
  • Isbister, K., Höök, K., Sundström, P., and Laaksolahti, J. (2011) Generating Ideas and Building Prototypes, In Paolo Petta, Catherine Pelachaud and Roddy Cowie (eds), Emotion-Oriented Systems, The Humaine Handbook, pp. 667-682, Springer.
  • Höök, K., Isbister, K., Westerman, S., Gardner, P., Sutherland, E., Vasalou, A., Sundström, P., Kaye, J.J., and Laaksolahti, J. (2011) Evaluation of Affective Interactive Applications, In Paolo Petta, Catherine Pelachaud and Roddy Cowie (eds), Emotion-Oriented Systems, The Humaine Handbook, pp. 683-700, Springer.
  • Isbister, K., Flanagan, M. and Hash, C. (2010). Designing games for learning: Insights from conversations with designers, Proceedings of CHI (Conference on human factors in computing) 2010, Atlanta, GA, USA.
  • Isbister, K. and DiMauro, C. (2010). Waggling the Form Baton: Analyzing Body- Movement-Based Design Patterns in Nintendo Wii Games, Toward Innovation of New Possibilities for Social and Emotional Experience. In Whole Body Interaction, D. England (Ed.), Springer.
  • Isbister, K. (2010). Enabling social play: A framework for design and evaluation. In Bernhaupt, R. (Ed.) Evaluating User Experiences in Games: Concepts and Methods, Springer.
  • Isbister, K. and Höök, K. (2009). On being supple: In search of rigor without rigidity in meeting new design and evaluation challenges for HCI practitioners, Proceedings of CHI (Conference on human factors in computing) 2009, Boston, MA, USA.
  • Isbister, K. (2009). Parappa the Rapper: Or how I learned to love Rodney Alan Greenblat and Masaya Matsuura. In Davidson, D. (Ed.) Well Played, etc press.
  • Isbister, K. (2009). Step two: Understand social play. In Bateman, C. (Ed.) Beyond Game Design: Nine Steps Toward Creating Better Videogames, Charles River Media.
  • Isbister, K. 2008. Social Psychology and user research. In Isbister, K. and Schaffer, N. (Eds.) Game Usability: Advice from the Experts for Advancing the Player Experience, Morgan Kaufmann. 
  • Isbister,  K., Höök, K., Sharp, D., & Laaksolahti, J. (2006). The Sensual Evaluation Instrument: Developing an affective evaluation tool. Proceedings of CHI (Conference on human factors in computing) 2006, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
     

Education

Stanford University, Class of 1998

Doctor of Philosophy,

Stanford University, Class of 1995

Master of Arts,

University of Chicago, Class of 1990

Bachelor of Arts,

Authored + Edited Books

  • Isbister, K. (2006). Better game characters by design: A psychological approach. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann. 
  • Isbister, K. & Schaffer, N. (Eds.). (2008). Game usability: Advice from the experts for advancing the player experience. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann.
  • Ishida, T. & Isbister, K. (Eds.). (2000). Digital cities: Technologies, experiences, and future perspectives. Berlin: Springer Verlag.

Awards + Distinctions

  • Humboldt Experienced Researcher Fellowship (2011-2013)
  • Jacobs Excellence in Education Award (2013)
  • Best paper nomination, CHI conference (2006)
  • Nomination for Game Developer magazine Frontline Award for book (2006)
  • Junior faculty research recognition, RPI (2005)
  • New voices, new visions award, Toronto Digifest (2004)
  • MIT Technology Review TR100 Young Innovator (1999)

Affiliations

Senior member, ACM (2009-present)

Associate Editor, International Journal of Human Computer Studies (2008-present)

Research Interests

Social psychological and affective approaches to human computer interface, with special attention to games and other leisure and social technologies; embodied conversational agents and computer game characters

General / Collaborative Research

  • Member of Presidium of MAGNET center
  • Researcher in Games for Learning Institute (NYU)

Grants

NYU Games for Learning Institute, (Senior Investigator)

Microsoft, 3 years

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