Constance Steinkuehler

Constance Steinkuehler
Co-Director, Associate Professor, Education, Games Learning Society

Years at WID

2011 - present2016


Constance Steinkuehler is an Associate Professor in Digital Media at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and co-directs the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) center at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery and chairs their annual GLS Conference. Her research is on cognition and learning in commercial entertainment games and games designed for impact. In 2011-2012, she served as Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) where she advised on national initiatives related to games. Policy work there included the coordination of cross-agency efforts to leverage games toward national priority areas (e.g. childhood obesity, early literacy, STEM education) and the creation of new partnerships to support an ecosystem for more diversified innovation in commercial and non-commercial games. She also played a central role in recent meetings through the Vice President’s office on videogames and violence.

Constance’s current research interests include neuroscience and games (particularly in the areas of attention and emotional and social well-being), learning analytics (informal scientific reasoning, problem-solving, and the role of failure), and mixed methods (game community discourse and literacy). Her work has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. She has published over twenty peer reviews publications on games and learning, three edited books  three special issues of peer reviewed academic journals focused on the intellectual life of games, and the 2009 National Academies of Science report entitled Learning Science: Computer Games, Simulations, and Education. Current game titles under development include Tenacity and Crystals of Kaydor.

Constance has a PhD in Literacy Studies, an MS in Educational Psychology, and three Bachelor Degrees in Mathematics, English, and Religious Studies. Her dissertation was a cognitive ethnography of the MMOs Lineage I and II where she served as siege princess for the Legends Of Aden guild.