INDIANAPOLIS and BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- With the coronavirus pandemic impacting sports, movies and other types of public entertainment, more Americans than ever are turning to games to bond with family and friends, or simply to pass the time. But this surging interest in gaming is driving severe product shortages this holiday season, with most retailers selling out of new video game consoles, such as the recently released Microsoft Xbox Series X and Sony PlayStation 5, as well as board games and puzzles.

IU experts on consumer trends, product marketing, tabletop games, and video game creation and industry are available to comment on these events, as well as the growing appeal of both traditional and digital games in general.

Marco Arnaudo is a professor of Italian history at IU Bloomington who studies history and theory of board games. He is the author of many essays about games as well as a book about board games and narratology, "Storytelling in the Modern Board Game." He is a published board game designer, known especially for his "Four Against the Great Old Ones."


Game studies; board games history and theory; interactive fiction; communication; social media; war history and theory of war; conflict simulation; american comics and pop culture; Italian literature, culture and art.

Travis Faas brings his experience working for an advertising company into the classroom, teaching students how to build interactive media experiences that combine technical mastery and an eye for artistry. He's written several introductory texts on media applications development that have been used as resources in universities nationwide. His classes range from introductory media applications development to game production and design theory.

Expertise: Video games, game development, augmented reality, live streaming, Twitch, educational games, games for change, games for health, makers, virtual reality, programming, 3D, online communities, educational technology, apps, application development, web development, esports, indie games, vtubers.

Mathew Powers is a lecturer in media arts and sciences at the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI. He specializes in character, environment, narrative and game creation. His classes focus on 2D and 3D creation, virtual reality, and game world environment construction, among other topics.

Expertise: Video games, traditional games, gamification, game psychology, public game production, educational games, video game history, comic books, sequential storytelling, creature design, character design, world building, drawing, unreal engine, Gen Con, Indy PopCon, Indiana Comic Con, Flash, YouTube, freelancing.

Kim Saxton is a marketing strategy professor who believes marketers should make data-driven decisions to improve their effectiveness. She earned a B.S. in marketing from MIT, reinforced by an MBA and Ph.D. in marketing from Indiana University. 

Expertise: Data-driven marketing, customer segmentation and advertising strategies to segments, branding and corporate reputation, content marketing, digital marketing, marketing automation, database marketing, competitive intelligence systems, market research techniques, marketing strategy, marketing for new ventures, entrepreneurial marketing and women as entrepreneurs.

Mike Sellers is a Professor of Practice at Indiana University and a founding faculty member of IU’s Game Design program. He has spent more than 20 years working in the games industry and has been a founder of three successful independent game companies. He has developed indie and AAA game companies, and has extensive experience in designing and producing MMO, social and mobile games. Past titles include Meridian 59, The Sims 2 and Realm of the Mad God. He has also conducted and published original research in social artificial intelligence and has an academic background in cognitive science.

Expertise: Game design, online games, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, player psychology, game monetization, games industry.

John Talbott is director of the Center for Education and Research in Retail and a senior lecturer at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Before coming to IU, he was a chief executive with extensive turnaround experience in retail, including top-to-bottom assembly of a store and back office management while defining store brands, developing product and designing an in-store experience to improve customer perceptions.

Expertise: Retailing, relating marketing activities to financial outcomes, new media communication.

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