Dr Steffen P Walz

GEElab & GEElab EU Founder and Director

Up until February of 2016, Steffen was an Associate Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, and one of the initial Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellows. He is now Professor of Design/Art in the School of Design and Art at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia.

Steffen was the founder-director of RMIT's Games & Experimental Entertainment Laboratory as well as the founder-director of RMIT's GEElab Europe in Karlsruhe, Germany, which existed between 2012 and 2015. In addition, together with two partners, he is one of the Founding Directors of gerenwa GmbH, Germany, a consulting and ideation services firm that also distributes Steffen's social card game around designing convergent, serious (and ridiculous) ideas, the FutureDeck.

Steffen is an award winning game & interaction designer, an internationally recognized scholar & book author, a business consultant & an entrepreneur with a background in computer aided architectural design, cultural anthropology, creative web direction, TV satire writing, entertainment media production as well as attempted pop music stardom.

Steffen earned his doctoral degree from the ETH Zurich in Switzerland, having researched the future of games and game-like activities across spaces and media. In 2008, he went on to form the company sreee, which had acquired seed funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation as well as business angel funding from Zurich investors, to create a cross-platform middleware for mobile games.

Not only has Steffen been creating several pioneering projects, e.g. REXplorer, the first urban exploration game service for tourists; or the first gamified website that can be navigated by playing arcade games; or the first musician’s website to offer end customers the possibility to “pay what you like” in 2004. Steffen has also been providing strategy and design consulting with regards to game thinking and serious games to clients such as Nokia, Audi, Sony Ericsson, the United Nations Population Fund (cf. http://www.breakawaygame.com), Flims Laax Falera Tourism, the Swiss Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology, the Zurich University Clinic and the MFG Baden-Württemberg, the German state’s public innovation agency for IT and new media. In the fields of Online marketing as well as E-commerce, in the past 12 years, Steffen has been consulting and designing e.g. for Daimler, HypoVereinsbank, major mobile telephony provider O2, German state television ZDF, Payback (the most successful German loyalty program) as well as for the German Greens, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen.

Steffen has been invited to lecture and keynote about his practice and writings at the MIT, Harvard, Georgia Tech, Parsons The New School for Design, Tsinghua University Beijing, IT University Copenhagen, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and many other schools, and he has spoken at numerous conferences such as the Game Developers Conference, the Serious Games Summit, DiGRA, Quo Vadis / Deutsche Gamestage, FMX and LIFT. He is Chair and ideator of Business Play-in brief, bizplay-, a Symposium and Workshop series on applying games, gamification and game technology to enterprise challenges; and he is Chair and Co-Curator of the Games for Change Australia-New Zealand Festival.

He is co-editor of "one of the books of the year 2007" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), "Space Time Play. Computer Games, Architecture and Urbanism: The Next Level" and author of "Toward a Ludic Architecture. The Space of Play and Games", published by the ETC Press, an open source publisher affiliated with the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2014, The MIT Press released the book "The Gameful World", co-edited by Steffen together with Sebastian Deterding.

Steffen enjoys playing with his kids and playing his Gretsch resonator guitar.

E: steffen.walz@rmit.edu.au

Photo (c) 2015 Josh Robenstone