Elena Bertozzi

Associate Professor of Game Design and Development

Elena Bertozzi


I am currently an Associate Professor of Game Design & Development at Quinnipiac University. I teach many of the game design and development classes in our program. My research encompasses both traditional journal publications about games – especially about the intersections between games, gender and technology—and applied game development.  I am currently working on a game that educates adolescents and collects data about family planning development in India (familyplanninggame.qu.edu)


Ph.D., 2003 Media & Communications, European Graduate School, Leuk Stadt, Switzerland,  M.S., 2000, Immersive Mediated Environments, Telecommunications
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.
M.L.S., 1997, School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University, Bloomington B.A. 1983, English Literature, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.

Courses Taught

GDD 101 Intro to Game Design, GDD 210 Game Lab I, GDD 211 Game Lab II, GDD 201 Game Design I, GDD 301, Game Design II, GDD 260 History of Videogames, GDD 175 Interactive Narrative, GDD 396 Games, Learning and Society, GDD 495 Senior Project and Seminar Capstone

Research Interests

My most recent analytical paper is entitled So close you can feel her: Prostitution, proximity and empathy in Grand Theft Auto 5. It considers that possibility that a game that is notorious for encouraging bad behavior, actually can make players feel empathy for game characters and their experiences. I am curious about how games represent gender, sexuality, and human relationships and how we can use this understanding to design games to encourage pro-social behavior.  I apply this analysis in the games that I build. I and my team work with scientists, artists and healthcare professionals on a variety of games that incentivize players to seek and achieve positive behavioral change. Motivated by my experiences in using games to address previously intractable problems, I study ways in which interactive technologies can guide players towards better decision-making based on accurate knowledge. I specialize in leveraging current technologies to produce low-cost 2D games that can be delivered over the most accessible device for the target audience.