Main Menu

Research Menu

Other EAE Sites

Home The Press Play Initiative at the Division of Games

The Press Play Initiative at the Division of Games

The Press Play Initiative


Opportunity for Impact

Utah Games was launched in the Fall of 2010 as the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Program, a teaching program that has grown into a thriving and diverse academic community supporting over 1,000 students. For over a decade, we have been ranked in the top ten among academic games programs by both USN&WR and Princeton Review, and during the last thirteen years the faculty and staff have grown Utah Games into an inclusive, vibrant community of educators and scholars. We currently support 140 graduate students, and 911 undergraduate majors with over 200 degrees granted annually, all designated by the State of Utah as 4/5-star, high demand degrees.

Our graduates are credited as contributors to commercial games that have generated over $2 Billion in sales, with well over $1 Billion of that created by alumni working at game studios within the state of Utah. Utah Games' economic impact has been remarkable.

We are just getting started.

We see a next-level opportunity waiting for Games at the University of Utah. In line with President Randall’s Bold Initiative, we are launching a division-wide effort to capture this opportunity. 

The university is making an investment in Utah Games at this critical point — across research, teaching, and engagement — which will propel our research enterprise into a new sphere. This critical investment will position us as leaders in virtual worlds – one of the rising technical and social  transformations of the 21st century. We call this effort the PRESS PLAY Initiative.

PRESS PLAY sets for Utah Games an expanded mission: to lead the world in both games teaching and research impact. With more than 66% of all Americans regularly playing video games, there is untapped potential for research and innovation in health, learning, training, and entertainment contexts, just to name a few. PRESS PLAY is guided by our stated core values: Community, Creativity, Diversity, Equity, Innovation, Iteration, Play, Practice, and Quality. These values speak to the power of games and how we prepare our students and ourselves to make a positive impact in the world.

With an unprecedented investment from the university in the PRESS PLAY initiative, our dynamic division will leverage our expertise to create new, transformative knowledge, build groundbreaking technology, and advance world changing research, scholarship, and creative practice.  Our goal is to lead the virtual worlds revolution, changing the way that games entertain players, improve mental and physical health, engage learners, train workers, drive creativity, build empathy, strengthen community, and increase access for all.  Through this important initiative, we will create an inclusive place that is welcoming, where we value the individual and the community, and where we equitably and respectfully care for every person. The PRESS PLAY initiative will ensure that the world will benefit from our ideas, our work, and our graduates for decades to come.


Through PRESS PLAY, Utah Games Seeks to Achieve Three Main Goals:

  • To establish a definitive foundation for world-class, impact-driven research and scholarship that is defined by and focused on the discipline of games.
  • To be the academic leader translating games research into use-driven application, with demonstrable impact on the lives of players.
  • To continue to set the standard of excellence in interdisciplinary, team-based, experiential teaching and learning in games and virtual worlds.

The University of Utah: a campus alive with play

The PRESS PLAY initiative proposes bold advances around games across research, teaching, learning, and student life. The effort promises for the University of Utah an expanded identity, embodying a 21st century view to confirm us as the place where games are at the forefront of university life.  The university's investment in this initiative is jump-starting remarkable research productivity within the division, integrating scholarship that combines expertise in arts, design, engineering, humanities, and science.  It is expanding our already innovative teaching into compelling areas of economic, technological and societal impact. It is drawing passionate and creative students to our degrees. And it confirms the University of Utah as a world leader in one of the rising technical and social transformations of the 21st century.

Next Steps:  Faculty Growth

In 2023, The Entertainment Arts and Engineering Program transitioned to a full academic unit on the Utah campus, expanding the unit's mission to include both teaching and scholarly excellence.  That year, Utah Games faculty were joined by four remarkable new career-line faculty.  For 2024, the Division has three more open faculty positions, and will be building on our support for PRESS PLAY to hire multiple additional positions over the course of a five year period of growth.  These positions seek to hire faculty at all levels, from brand new graduates to more senior, leading scholars.  They will identify specific areas of expertise that will draw from a breadth of historical disciplines, ranging across arts, design, engineering, humanities, and science.  Links to our currently open positions will be added within days below.  But if you are interested in joining us in the work we're undertaking, PLEASE reach out to the Division chair, Michael Young ( or any of our faculty to talk more about our plans and yours.

Currently open positions:

Be bold.  PRESS PLAY.