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Carly A. Kocurek

Carly A. Kocurek

Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and Media Studies







SH 212


Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, American Studies
M.A., The University of Texas at Austin, American Studies
B.A., Rice University, English and History

Research Interests 

Digital culture
Game design
Media studies
History of video gaming
Video games and gender
Video game violence


Carly A. Kocurek is a cultural historian specializing in the study of new media technologies and video gaming. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin (2012) and joined the faculty at the Illinois of Institute of Technology in 2012. She is a regional director for the Learning Games Initiative and serves on the Women’s Committee and the Digital Humanities Caucus of the American Studies Association. She is also co-editor, with Jennifer deWinter, of the Influential Game Designers book series, published by Bloomsbury Academic.

At IIT, she teaches courses in game and media studies, game design, and digital culture to both graduate and undergraduate students.

Professional Society Memberships 

Current Projects 

Kocurek is currently completing a book, tentatively titled Coin-Operated Americans, under contract with the University of Minnesota Press. The project examines the early history of commercial video game arcades in the United States and the development of gamer identity through public representations of video games. 

Her other current projects include a series of articles on misogyny in contemporary video gaming culture, co-authored with Jennifer deWinter, and an interactive fiction game addressing reproductive healthcare access in Texas, co-developed with Allyson Whipple.

Awards & Honors 

Mellon THATCamp Fellowship (2012)

University of Texas A.D. Hutchinson Endowed Fellowship (2011-2012)

Best Student Paper in Computer Culture at the SW/TX PCA/ACA for “Arcade Economics: Class Values and Coin Operated Video Gaming” (2009)

Selected Publications 

“Between the Novel and the Mundane: Technical Writing and the Transition to Coin-Op Computer Games," for Technical Communication and Computer Games (peer reviewed), edited by Jennifer deWinter and Ryan Moeller. Farnham: Ashgate, Forthcoming.

“Community“ for The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies, edited by Bernard Perron and Mark J.P. Wolf. London: Routledge, Forthcoming 2014.

“The Treachery of Pixels: Reconsidering Feelies in an Era of Digital Play.“ Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds 5, no. 3 (2013). pp. 295-306.

Local History Geocache for Digital Humanities.“ Syllabus Journal 2, no. 2. (2013).

The Agony and the Exidy: A History of Video Game Violence and the Legacy of Death Race.“ Game Studies 12, no. 1. (2012).

“Snapshot of American Game Ratings and Censorship“ in Gaming Globally, edited by Ben Aslinger and Nina Huntemann. New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2012.

“Coin-Drop Capitalism: Economic Lessons from the Video Game Arcade,” Before the Crash: An Anthology of Early Video Game History. Baltimore: Wayne State University Press, 2012.