Image of Dr. Karen Schrier

Contact Information

Academic School

School of Communication and the Arts


Lowell Thomas 148





Dr. Karen Schrier

Associate Professor/Director of Games and Emerging Media


Dr. Karen "Kat" Schrier (she/they) is an Associate Professor and Founding Director of the Games & Emerging Media program at Marist College. She is a world-renowned expert and researcher in games, ethics, empathy, and learning, and is the director of the Play Innovation Lab. She is co-PI on a Templeton grant on virtual reality games and empathy with colleagues at the Lagos Business School in Nigeria. She also has over 20 years of hands-on experience in game design and media production, such as at Scholastic, Nickelodeon, BrainPOP, and the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Schrier has written or edited over 100 publications, including We the Gamers: How Games Teach Ethics and Civics (Oxford University Press) and Knowledge Games: How Playing Games Can Help Solve Problems, Create Insight, and Make Change. She is the editor of the book series Learning, Education & Games, published by ETC Press (Carnegie Mellon), co-author of a UNESCO whitepaper on empathy and games, and co-editor of two books on games and ethics. Her work has been covered by Forbes, New Scientist, Wired, Edutopia, Times Higher Education, and SiriusXM. Dr. Schrier served as a Belfer Fellow with the ADL’s Center for Technology & Society and is currently an advisor for the Daytime Emmy-nominated Mission US: For Crown or Colony? and the ethics game, Quandary. She holds a doctorate from Columbia University, master’s degree from MIT, and a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.


BA, Psychology, Amherst College
MS, Comparative Media Studies, MIT
EdD, Communication, Media & Learning Technologies Design, Teachers College/Columbia

Research Interests/Areas of Focus

Game design and interaction design, Games and learning, Empathy, compassion, and bias reduction, Using games to teach ethics and civics, Citizen science games, Crowdsourcing games

Selected Publications

Selected Books

Schrier, K. (2021) We the Gamers: How Games Teach Ethics and Civics. Oxford University Press.

Schrier, K. (2016). Knowledge games: How playing games can solve problems, create insight, and make change. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Schrier, K. (Ed.) (2019). Learning, education & games vol. 3: 100 games to use in the classroom and beyond. Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press (Carnegie Mellon).

Schrier, K. (Ed.) (2016). Learning, education & games vol. 2: Bringing games into educational contexts. Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press (Carnegie Mellon).

Schrier, K. (Ed.) (2014). Learning, education & games vol. 1: Curricular and design considerations. Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press (Carnegie Mellon).

Selected Articles

Schrier, K. (2018). Using games to solve real-world civic problems: Early insights and design principles. The Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education. Vol. 10, No. 1.

Schrier, K. (2017). What’s in a Name? Naming games that solve real-world problems. Proceedings of the Foundations of Digital Games ’17, ACM Digital Library, Cape Cod, MA.

Schrier, K. (2017). Designing games for real-world moral problem solving. Games & Culture. Online on May 31, 2017.

Schrier, K. (2017). Designing role-playing video games for ethical thinking. Educational Technology Research and Development. 65(4): 831-868

Schrier, K. (2017). Designing learning with citizen science and games. Journal of Emerging Learning Design. 4(1). 

Schrier, K. (2015). EPIC: A framework for using video games for ethics education. Journal of Moral Education. 44(4): 393-424

Schrier, K. (2015). Ethical thinking and sustainability in Fable III. Simulation & Gaming. 46(6): 673-696.

Schrier, K. (2014). The weird humanity of I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. Well-Played. ETC Press (Carnegie Mellon).

Schrier, K. (2012). Avatar gender and ethical thinking in Fable III. Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society. Sage Publications. October 2012, (32) 5, 375-383.

Creative Work

Awesome Upstander, an antibullying iphone and ipad game, 2012
Mission US, a history game to teach social studies and citizenship skills, 2008-2009

Selected Presentations

Schrier, K. (2018). Inclusive game design. Featured speaker. Meaningful Play, East Lansing, Michigan.

Schrier, K., Farber, M., Darvasi, P., Dunlap, K. & Boltz, E. (2018) Achievement unlocked? Exploring the complexities of empathy in games. Meaningful Play, East Lansing, Michigan.

Schrier, K., Farber, M., Braunfeld, D., Westenskow, J. Vallon, R. (2018) Games and Empathy panel. Games for Change, New York, NY.

Schrier, K. & Farber, M. (2018). Open Questions for Empathy and Games. Connected Learning Conference. Boston, MA.

Schrier, K. (2018). Generating Empathy and Compassion through Games. Serious Play Conference. Buffalo, NY.

Schrier, K. (2018). Fake news, real learning: Using news games to teach civic & information  literacy in higher education, CUNY Games Conference 4.0. New York, NY.

Schrier, K. (2017). Confronting Games and Ethics: Challenging Students to Be Critical Designers. Game Developers Conference. San Francisco, CA.

Schrier, K., Weise, M., Sutherland, A., & Boyacioglu, B. (2017). Panel discussion at MIT, Cambridge, MA.                                                                       

Schrier, K. (2017). Civic Engagement and Design: Connecting Students with the Local Community Emerging Learning Design (ELD). Montclair, NJ.

Schrier, K., Lee, M., & Simkins, D. (2017). Using Games to Support Inclusive Classrooms – A Panel Discussion. Emerging Learning Design (ELD). Montclair, NJ.

Schrier, K., An, Y-J., Miller, J., Siyahhan, S., & Dalsen, J. (2017). Highlights from the latest game-based learning research, Games for Change, New York, NY.

Schrier, K. (2017). Design principles for knowledge games. Serious Play Conference, Washington, DC.

Schrier, K. (2017). The Ethics of citizen science gaming: Perspectives from STS. Meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S). Boston, Massachusetts.

Schrier, K. (2017). “Tracing the Boundaries of Games as Research,” Foundations of Digital Games ’17 conference workshop participant.

Ruberg, B., Schrier, K, Totten, C., Viana Neto, M., & Westecott, E. (2017). Games education soapbox. Game Developers Conference. San Francisco, CA.

Awards and Honors

ADL Belfer Fellow, Center for Technology & Society, 2018-2019
Marist College Faculty Research Award” winner for top scholarship, 2017

Media Links