Carrie Heeter Ph.D

Retired Professor
Department of Media & Information



I came to MSU as a freshman in 1974. My academic degrees include a Ph.D. in Mass Media (1986) and a BA in Communication (1982), both from Michigan State University. I was founding director of the Communication Technology Laboratory (1980 to 2005) which has transformed into the thriving GEL Lab (Games for Entertainment and Learning) lead by Brian Winn. For the last 17 years I have lived in San Francisco and continued in my role as full time professor for MSU, using a wide range of technologies to “telerelate,” teach, and collaborate with my colleagues and students in Michigan and around the world. I design and study technology-enhanced experiences. I have designed and directed development of more than 50 interactive experiences including meditations, learning and cognitive games and other technology-enhanced learning experiences, interactive learning systems, and patient empowerment software. I have published more than 100 books, chapters, articles, and proceedings about individual and social impacts of interactive technology, gender and gaming, and playstyles and player types. Right now I am most interested in Innovative applications of technology for delivering and studying meditation experiences. One focus is on outcome-based meditation (including specific productivity, well-being, and health outcomes). I am also exploring the idea of meditation as meaningful play, including ways of combining meditation and gaming as well as transmedia meditation.

Awards, Honors, and Recognitions:

My interactive projects have won at least 50 awards over the years. Two are most notable.

Most Innovative Game Meaningful Play conference October 2012

DNA Roulette was awarded most innovative game at the international Meaningful Play conference.

Software Innovation of the Year Award Discover Magazine January 1995

The Personal Communicator CD-ROM brought American Sign Language (ASL) communication capabilities to the desktop and notebook computer, one of the first applications to use a large database of QuickTime movies (signs) strung together in real time along with speech synthesis to “sign and speak” any English text. The Web Site provided an online ASL browser offering video of thousands of ASL signs. Funded by the National Department of Education

Graduate Fellow, National Science Foundation

National Merit Scholar

Carrie Heeter