Advisory Board

Lisa Galarneau, M.Sc.

Lisa Galarneau, M.Sc. is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Screen and Media Studies at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Her research is focused on social learning associated with virtual worlds. She also works at Microsoft Games User Research doing usability and playtesting on a variety of games and contributes to Terra Nova, a collaborative blog exploring virtual worlds.
Lisa’s research into the types of social learning associated with virtual worlds is inspired by her interest in the nature of learning, her experiences as a gamer, and the research and opinions of a great number of scholars, including John Seely Brown, Etienne Wenger, Jean Lave, Henry Jenkins, T.L. Taylor, James Paul Gee, Constance Steinkuehler, Kurt Squire, and countless others.
She is specifically interested in the phenomenon of self-motivated social learning in virtual worlds: how players self-organize and self-empower to achieve mastery of a game or virtual space.
This interest covers various aspects of participation, community, learning and self-organization:

  • How players self-organize into temporary and more permanent groupings and assist each other in learning the intricacies of a world.
  • How players contribute to the world and meta-world environment, and how developers/publishers respond to these contributions.
  • How socio-cultural literacy develops in the context of a world, and how the worlds develop and regulate unique cultures and values.
  • How skills developed in virtual worlds might be leveraged into real-life contexts.
Her project takes a qualitative approach to exploring these questions.
Lisa authored Productive Play: Participation and Learning in Digital Game Environments, Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play: Games, Simulations and the Construction of Knowledge, Spontaneous Communities of Learning: Learning Ecosystems in Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming Environments, and The eLearning Edge: Leveraging Interactive Technologies in the Design of Engaging, Effective Learning Experiences, Are Virtual Worlds Good For the Soul?, Talking Trash About Intellectual Trash…, The Singularity, Virtual Worlds and AI Babies, Is it Really so Bad to be Bad?, Organizing the Virtual Organization, My Other Self is an Ass-kicking Supermodel, and The New Love?, and coauthored Online Games for 21st Century Skills, Play my way: The politics of cooperation in massively multiplayer online games, Read the full list of her publications!
Lisa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Socio-cultural Anthropology at The University of California at Berkeley in 1993. She earned her Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning at California State University Hayward in 2002. She earned her Master of Science in Education, option in Online Teaching and Learning, at California State University Hayward in 2003.
Read Expert rates New Zealand’s finalists and Game Anthropologists Watch the Natives.
Read her LinkedIn profile.