CGDS Graduate Student Profiles

Bower, Janine CGDS

Janine Bower

Area of Research / Interest: Voice acting, representation, character/player connection, localization processes, digital materiality

Undergraduate Education Institution: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

Undergraduate Major: Spanish and Mandarin Chinese

Biography: As a lover of all things international and previous M.S. in STS grad, Janine is looking to blend a number of her interests into one impactful research project. Some of those interests include: adventures in open world completionism, testing out accents in the amateur voice acting world, and discovering tricky social science questions in the process. As a former administrator (CHOP Global Medicine, Drexel University), adjunct Chinese professor, and one-time K-pop blogger, she is excited to see how much further her South Jersey roots can take her. Email:

Burr, Peter CGDS

Peter Burr

Area of Research / Interest: Worldbuilding

Undergraduate Education Institution: Carnegie Mellon University

Undergraduate Major: Art

Biography: Peter Burr is an artist from Brooklyn, NY. His practice often engages with tools of the video game industry in the form of immersive cinematic artworks. These pieces have been presented internationally by various institutions including Documenta 14, Athens; MoMA PS1, New York; and The Barbican Centre, London.

Previously Burr worked under the alias Hooliganship and founded the video label Cartune Xprez through which he produced hundreds of live multimedia exhibitions and touring programs showcasing a multi-generational group of artists at the forefront of experimental animation. His practice has been recognized through grants and awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Creative Capital Grant, and a Sundance New Frontier Fellowship.


Coutu Ysabelle CGDS

Ysabelle Coutu

Area of Research / Interest: Affect in Games

Undergraduate Education Institution: Penn State University

Undergraduate Major: Information Sciences and Technology

Biography: Ysabelle hails from Central PA and is a graduate of both Penn State University (BS in Information Sciences and Technology) and Northeastern University (MS in Game Science and Design). Her interest lies in the intersection between art and technology, and her research topics include affect in games, design methodology, narrative, and user experience. She hopes to one day become a professor in the games field.


Zihan Feng

Zihan Feng

Area of Research / Interest: history and cultural heritage in games, sound and music designs in games, interactive storytelling, user experience design in games

Undergraduate Education Institution: New York University Shanghai

Undergraduate Major: Interactive Media Arts

Biography: Zihan Feng received his B.S. degree in Interactive Media Arts from New York University in 2022. Before starting his graduate study, he worked in multiple game companies in China in a variety of roles including level design, music design, programming, etc. His research interests include history and cultural heritage in games, interactive storytelling, sound design in games, and user experience design. Email: 


M Hlady

Matthew Hlady

Area of Research / Interest: Gamer ethics

Undergraduate Education Institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst

Undergraduate Major: English and Western Laws & Ethics

Biography: Matt comes from a humanities-focused background and transitioned his love for stories and history into game development. He seeks to develop his technical skills while researching gamer psychology and the impact of games on players’ ethical choices. He writes scripts for Everbloom Games and fiction in his spare time. Email:


Bryan Kim

Bryan Kim

Area of Research / Interest: Mental Disorder Digital Therapeutics

Undergraduate Education Institution: Purdue University

Undergraduate Major: Computer Graphics Technology

Biography: Bryan was born in Philadelphia, completed elementary and middle school in Korea and then returned to the United States to finish high school in Missouri. He attended Purdue University as Computer Graphics major to do CAD design. However, he realized that he wanted to do something that he loved and completed a Master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University to learn about game design, AR, VR, and game production. He was in the Fortnite department as a production intern after finishing his Master's, but wanted to do something more with game design. He has also started a project building digital therapeutic games for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Email:


Li Zheng

Li Zheng

Hometown/Country: China

Area of Research / Interest: Game Design

Undergraduate Education Institution: Xi'an Polytechnic University

Undergraduate Major: Animation

Biography: Li is mainly engaged in the experimental production and theoretical research of VR games. Li published a chapter in the Handbook of Research on the Global Impacts and Roles of Immersive Media in 2020 and has published several monographs and more than ten papers in Chinese. 


Pengze Zheng

Pengze Zheng

Hometown/Country: China

Area of Research / Interest: Chinese Internet Cafe Culture

Undergraduate Education Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz

Undergraduate Major: Computer Game Design

Biography: Pengze Zheng was born in China and came to the United States to study game design and culture after high school. Zheng’s research direction includes the Chinese Game Industry, Chinese Game Culture, Chinese Society and Ideology, Game Analysis, and Game Adaptation and Localization. He currently focuses on Chinese internet cafe culture and its relationship with the Chinese game culture. Email:


The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Russell Sage Laboratory (SAGE) 5304, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180
(518) 276-6575

Back to top