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Joey J. Lee

Professional Background

Educational Background

B.S. with Honors in Computer Science,  Schreyer Honors College Program, The Pennsylvania State University (2002)

PhD in Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University (2009)
Dissertation Title:  Understanding How Identity Supportive Games (ISG) Can Impact Asian-American Possible Selves

Scholarly Interests

The design, development and study of games and game-like experiences that address educational and social problems, with a specific emphasis on motivation, engagement, identity formation, culture, and sustainability. 

Selected Publications

Wu, J. S. & Lee, J. J. (in press).  Climate change games as tools for education and engagement.  Nature Climate Change. 

Lee, J. J., Pfirman, S., Toynton, T., & Matamoros, E. (2014).  EcoChains: A Multiplayer Card Game to Teach Food Webs, Climate Change and Systems Thinking.  Games, Learning and Society Conference, June 2014, Madison, WI.

Lee, J. J. (2013).  Game mechanics to promote new understandings of identity and ethnic minorities.  Digital Culture and Education, 5(2), 127-150. 

Lee, J. J., Ceyhan, P., Jordan-Cooley, W., & Sung, W. (2013).  Greenify: Real-world missions for climate change education.  Simulation and Gaming. 

Lee, J. J., Matamoros, E., Kern, R., deLuna, C., Marks, J., Jordan-Cooley, W. (May 2013).  Greenify: fostering sustainable communities via gamification.  ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2013, Paris, France.

Lee, J. J., Ceyhan, P., Jordan-Cooley, W., & Sung, W. (2012).  Greenify: real-world missions for climate change education.  Games, Learning and Society (GLS) Conference, Madison, WI.

Lee, J. J., Liao, E., & Ahn, S. (2012).  Experience points for learning: Student perceptions of game mechanics for the classroom.  Games, Learning and Society (GLS) Conference, Madison, WI.

Lee, J. J. & Hammer, J. (2011).  Gamification in Education: What, How, Why Bother?  Academic Exchange Quarterly, 15(2).

Lee, J. J., & Li, V. A. (2011, August). Identity Supportive Games: A Game-Based Approach to Asian-American Identity Development in Adolescents.  Poster presented at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Convention (APA).

Hoadley, C., Xu, H., Lee, J. J., Rosson, M. (2010).  Privacy as Information Access and Illusory Control: The Case of the Facebook News Feed Privacy Outcry.  Journal of Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 9(1): 50-60.

Lee, J. J., & Hoadley, C. (2007). Leveraging Identity to Make Learning Fun: Possible Selves and Experiential Learning in Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs). Innovate Journal of Online Education,  3(6).

Lee, J. J. (2008, June). Understanding How Identity Supportive Games Can Impact Asian-American Possible Selves. Presented at the International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2008) Doctoral Consortium, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Lee, J. J., Gaydos, M., Hoadley, C. (2008). Identities, Stereotypes, and Constructing Avatars for Success in Math. In Learning and Research in the Web 2 Era: New Opportunities for Research (J. Slotta, organizer). Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2008) Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Hoadley, C., Lee, J. J., & Sockman, B. R. (2008, March) Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Educational Technology Design Teams: A Cross-Case Analysis Using the TACIT Framework. Roundtable Paper. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, March 24-28, 2008.

Lee, J. J., Hoadley, C., & Sockman, B. R. (2008, March) TACIT as a Reflective Tool for Improving Educational Software Partnerships. Poster presented at the Technology Enhanced Learning in Science (TELS) annual meeting held during the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Conference, March 24-28, 2008.

Lee, J. J., Hoadley, C., Xu, H., Rosson, M. B. (2008, February). How to anger Internet users by sharing information they've already published: Privacy attitudes and the Facebook controversy. Poster presented at the 2008 Information Sciences and Technology Graduate Symposium: Creativity and Innovation: The Future of Information, Technology, and the Enterprise.

Lee, J. J., & Hoadley, C. (2007). Leveraging identity to make learning fun: Possible selves and experiential learning in massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs). Innovate Journal of Online Education, 3(6).

Lee, J. J. and Hoadley, C. (2006). "Ugly in a world where you can choose to be beautiful": Teaching and learning about diversity via virtual worlds. In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS06), Bloomington, Indiana, June 2006, pp. 383-389.

Lee, J. J. and Hoadley, C. (2006). Online identity as a leverage point for learning in massively multiplayer online games (MMORPGs). In Proceedings of the 6th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT06), Kekrade, the Netherlands, July 2006, pp. 761-763.

Lee, J. J., Hellar, D. B., & Hoadley, C. (2006). Gender, Gaming, and IT Careers. In E. M. Trauth (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology, Hershey, PA: Idea Group, Inc.


  • National Science Foundation - Co-PI of Climate Change Educational Partnership (CCEP) Grant ($5.65 million USD over 5 years)

  • National Science Foundation - Climate Change Educational Partnership (CCEP) Supplemental Grant ($60,000 awarded in 2011).

  • Pennsylvania Governor’s School in Information Technology Grant ($4500 awarded in 2005).
  • Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Institute Grant ($3400 in funding awarded in 2005 and 2007).
  • NSF-Funded Research Fellow position for Technology Enhanced Learning in Science (TELS) Project (Fall 2005-Spring 2008)
  • NSF-Funded Funded LIFE Graduate Fellow
  • Pennsylvania State University Graduate Teaching Fellow

honors and awards

MSTU 4039: Video games in education

Provides students with tools they will need to understand, analyze, and build games. Focus is on gaining an understanding of rules, interactivity, play, social interaction, and all other factors that go into making an innovative and fun game. Primary focus is on the basic language of games: game play and game design. Course also addresses games from an educational perspective. Special fee: $45.

MSTU 5003: Theory and programming of interactive media: Part 1

Aimed at students who are interested in building instructional multimedia in Adobe Flash. Provides students with tools for understanding, analyzing, and constructing Flash-based multimedia in a hands-on manner. Examples and mini-tutorials abound. Theory and design are integrated to ensure that students emerge as authors of well-designed, educationally-sound media.

MSTU 6000: Advanced designing educational games

This course serves as an intensive workshop for designing and producing educational games as well as a scholarly opportunity for students interested in the advanced study of games.

Centers and Projects

Games Research Lab

Through an understanding of play, the Games Research Lab seeks to gain knowledge of human cognition, collaboration, media effects, modern culture, creativity, improvisation and other factors within games that have implications for education. Faculty and students involved with the Games Research Lab have broad-ranging interests, and the lab has resources allowing the study of video games, traditional board and card games, role-playing games, games for teaching and learning, "serious" games, media literacy, the psychology of games, and related topics.

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