2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Using Games to Kick-Start Education

#sxsw #ArtsDigLit

Digital literacy is the future of communication and commerce and creates learning experiences that develop students' capacities for critical thinking, creativity, imagination and innovation. Digital communication requires skills learned through study of the fine arts, as well as the skills of using new technology. Digital games combine the power of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills in a program that fuses the arts and humanities with hands-on experiential learning into complex eco-systems within, and extending beyond, the game space to involve networks of people in a variety of roles and rich interactions. Learning STEAM skills represents a critical activity within this larger, highly engaging system where the future economy is contingent upon students’ success.

This SXSW Gaming Session at the Long Center is FREE and open to the public. However SXSW Interactive, Film, Gold and Platinum badges gain priority seating.



Bruce Pennycook

Dir of Digital Arts

University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts

Bruce Pennycook is a composer and music technology specialist. He is Professor of Music at the University of Texas Butler School of Music and Director of Digital Arts for the College of Fine Arts. He has written many articles on music technology and published a wide variety of papers of various topics. His music often includes computer mediated elements. more at: brucepennycook.com

Doug Dempster


University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts

Douglas Dempster is Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin and is a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Before his appointment as dean in 2007, he served for several years as Senior Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts, a leading, public, comprehensive college of the fine and performing arts, with programs in Art and Art History, Music, Theatre and Dance, the University’s public art collection, Landmarks, and multi-purpose Performing Arts Center, as well as, formerly, the University’s Blanton Museum of Art.
Dean Dempster is a philosopher by training and profession with research and teaching specialties in philosophical aesthetics, music theory, cultural policy studies, and the philosophy of language. He is published eclectically and esoterically in all these areas. He currently holds the Marie and Joseph D. Jamail Senior Regents Professorship and the Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in the Department of Theater and Dance.


Jennifer Ransom Rice

Exec Dir

Texas Cultural Trust

Jennifer Ransom Rice serves as Executive Director of the Texas Cultural Trust. She has a decade of experience in public relations and state government. As chief of staff for State Senator Florence Shapiro, Jennifer shepherded the Senators legislative package to success, with an emphasis on education and arts education. She previously served as Communications Director for the Texas Comptroller and as Press Secretary to State Senator Tom Haywood. Jennifer has worked on several local and state political campaigns. She is actively involved in her community, having served on numerous boards and volunteering with a variety of organizations in Austin, including Art Alliance Austin, Zach Theatre, and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. She serves on the executive committee of the Women’s Fund of Central Texas, and is actively involved in the Women’s Symphony League, and the Junior League of Austin. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Midwestern State University, and her master’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas, where she serves on the advisory council for the College of Fine Arts, chairs the Texas Exes public affairs committee, and is a member of the 1883 Council.


Warren Spector

Dir, Denius-Sams Gaming Academy

Warren Spector has been making games for 30 years. The recipient of lifetime achievement awards from the Game Developers Conference and Cartoons on the Bay, his work has been featured at the Australian Center for the Moving Image and the Smithsonian Institution. Spector currently serves as Director of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy at the University of Texas as Austin. He received a BS in Speech from Northwestern, an MA in RTF from The University of Texas at Austin and an honorary Doctorate from Columbia College of Chicago.

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