Tracy Fullerton, holder of the Electronic Arts Chair in the Interactive Media & Games Division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), received the Trailblazer Award at IndieCade, the largest independent game celebration in the country.
The award is given to a professional who exemplifies distinguished accomplishment and significant influence during a career of game creation.
Fellow game designer and SCA Professor Richard Lemarchand introduced Fullerton, praising her work in interactive cinema and television, social gaming and transmedia.
Fullerton has “not only been dreaming big dreams,” Lemarchand said, “but has been doing the hard work to turn those dreams into realities for herself, and for everyone around her, for the entire duration of her game design practice. The trails that Tracy has blazed burn brightly for all of us who love games.”
Fullerton has been a prominent figure at IndieCade for several years as the recipient of awards for her work on the games Night Journey and Reality Ends Here.
Through work at USC and her Spiderdance studio, Fullerton has mentored many designers whose trend-setting work leads the field.
“As I got to know Tracy, I could see that the same creativity and ingenuity she put in her own game design work,” Lemarchand said, “she was now also pouring into figuring how to train and mentor the young game designers of tomorrow. So many of our lives have been touched by the unwavering effort that Tracy puts into her teaching.”
Fullerton praised the community of supportive independent gamers and designers who made her work possible.
“We can change the kind of games that are in the world,” she said, “if we can change the context and community in which they are built.”
Fullerton also thanked her mentors, fellow IndieCade designers and her parents, who always believed in her even though she said “they still don’t really get what I’m doing.”