E27 Dr. Kelly Tran: Game Designer, Researcher, Streamer, Player

In this episode, host Robby Ratan speaks with Dr. Kelly Tran, a professional game designer and researcher working on a game to improve players’ social and emotional learning. She discusses her transition from academia to industry, the importance of aligning game mechanics with the impactful (or “serious”) intent of the game, the value of games as tools for stealth assessment, her eudaimonic experiences playing Chicory and Mass Effect and the fun she’s having Twitch streaming Final Fantasy XIV. And, of course, Robby nudged her to comment on avatars and self-presentation a bit too.


Tran is the founder and applied designer at Evolved Play, a company building a free-to-play adventure role-playing game platform for children four-years-old and up. They plan to use social emotional learning to help players develop emotional intelligence, creativity and empathy through story and social gameplay.


Tran Twitch streams on her personal channel and a channel she shares with other professors.


Take the SPARTIE-Cast survey and let us know what you think of the podcast!