Affiliate Spotlight: Owen Gottlieb

Portrait of Owen Gottlieb

Owen Gottlieb, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the School of Interactive Games and Media in the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Gottlieb’s expertise is in games and digital media for learning. His research and design work traverses multiple fields including religion, history, education, media studies, communications, anthropology, dramatic writing, and software development. 

Gottlieb collaborates with numerous scholars at RIT and other universities and has created numerous opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to be involved in RCP research and design projects.

Professor Gottlieb’s work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and The Covenant Foundation. His creative and scholarly works been featured at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) Arcade and numerous national and international festivals and events.

Professor Gottlieb’s ongoing research projects are:

  • Lost & Found: This award-winning is a strategy card-to-mobile game series that teaches medieval religious legal systems with attention to period accuracy and cultural and historical context. The Lost & Found games project seeks to expand the discourse around religious legal systems, to enrich public conversations in a variety of communities, and to promote greater understanding of the religious traditions that build the fabric of the United States. Comparative religious literacy can build bridges between and within communities and prepare learners to be responsible citizens in our pluralist democracy.  
    • Selected Recognition:
      • Lost & Found and Lost & Found: Order in the Court – the Party Game were featured at the 2018 Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) Arcade
      • The series won Best Non-Digital Game at the 2018 International Meaningful Play Conference and a Bronze Medal at the 2018 International Serious Play Awards.
      • The games have been shown at numerous events including MIT Connected Learning, The Boston Festival of Independent Games (FIG), and the Now Play This Festival in London, England.
      • The digital prototype of Lost & Found was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • Project Rose: “Gottlieb says he’s been ‘unearthing’ ancient wisdoms, including a meditative breathing exercise from a Jewish ritual that dates back 1,400 years. He hopes similar forgotten practices will help modern-day medical patients. He and his partners, a biofeedback expert and a rehabilitation scientist, plan to include such therapies in an app they are developing to help chronic pain sufferers. ‘We are drawing upon ancient, effective ways to address pain, and we hope to deliver them in new ways through the smartphone,’ says Gottlieb.” – George Spencer, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, July-Aug 2019
  • Project Honeycrisp: Gottlieb is researching under-reported and largely forgotten yet crucial historical approaches to creating and instructional media in classrooms in order to better inform current approaches to of interactive media for learning in both formal and informal learning environments. By bringing stand-out historical cases back to the canon, he seeks to recover some of the lost the art and science, for the benefit of contemporary researchers, educators, and learners.
  • Project Redondo: Gottlieb is investigating transmedia narratives for the acquisition of cultural practices (how peoples hand down both heritage and new cultural practices). How can narratives across multiple media venues best carry cultural practices, traditions, and ways of knowing?

Learn more about Owen Gottlieb’s work: