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Between being a fire performer and juggler, teacher, game designer, musician, and filmmaker, Justin has always found a way to keep the concept of play at the center of his life. These days he focuses on games, both extremely silly and serious alike.
He completed his Master’s degree in Civic Media at Emerson College where he focused his studies on how to harness play’s potential for social good. For his thesis project he designed a digital learning game for immigrants and refugees in Portland, Maine.
In undergrad he studied psychology and economics at Vassar College, though he half-jokes that his real major was in circus arts. His most influential subjects of study were game theory, behavioral economics, positive and social psychology, and the gamification of learning.
Here are a few of Justin’s favorite playful accomplishments thus far in life:
- Wore a robe and wizard hat to work every day for 3+ years while teaching for Chess Wizards, a national afterschool enrichment program.
- Taught and performed partner fire dance for 6+ years, nationally and internationally, helping influence the field with new techniques and theory.
- Designed two tabletop games that have been invited as Finalists to BFIG (Boston Festival of Indie Games) and PAX East.
- Done game consulting work with a range of non-profit clients including the National Democratic Institute, the Engagement Lab, Forward Labs, Games for Change, and Cornell University.
- Played a wide range of video games competitively to the point of making worldwide leaderboards (such as Hearthstone, WoW, Guitar Hero, DDR, Mario Kart, and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.)