Brian Winn

Director, Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab
Professor, Department of Media and Information


Brian M. Winn is the Founder and Director of the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab at Michigan State University and a Full Professor in the Department of Media and Information.

Winn’s expertise is in designing “meaningful play” that combines games and meaningful objectives (such as learning, health, persuasion, motivation, and fitness). Winn’s “Design, Play, Experience Framework” presents a process for designing meaningful play. Winn founded the International Conference on Meaningful Play, serves as a member of the Michigan Film and Digital Media Office Advisory Council, and is a faculty advisor of the MSU SpartaSoft student game developers group. Winn’s award-winning work has been presented, exhibited, and experienced around the world.

Winn is an accomplished teacher who became an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2001 and a Lilly Teaching Fellow in 2005. Winn taught the first game design course at MSU back in 2000 and helped grow that one course into the top-ranked MSU Game Design and Development program. Winn also teaches the popular online Coursera Specialization in Game Design and Development.

Winn recently co-founded Will Winn Games, an East Lansing-based game studio, that is bringing the award-winning 12-person swashbuckling action-arcade party game, Plunder Panic, to market.