Ben Spalding is a game design consultant and new media artist located in Santa Cruz, California. He uses systems (rules, algorithms, rituals) to explore alternative methods of storytelling and social play in interactive media. His previous work has covered such topics as multi-player narrative design, empathy and artificial intelligence, critical software tools, and emergent narrative design. He creates games and software tools as part of his design practice.
Ben has an MFA in Digital Art and New Media from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His thesis project, Hydras Like Stories, examined multi-player narrative design principles for digital games through the production of a speculative software tool.
Ben streams weekly as part of the game studies Twitch channel, Scholars Play. This channel performs live criticism while playing through a mix of popular and historically significant video games every week. He is dedicated to teaching as part of his design practice, and has taught game design programs for middle and high school students in both Santa Cruz and New York City.