Kyrie E. H. Caldwell earned her B.A. in Art History and Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a return to her Midwestern hometown after a good while spent in Conyers, Georgia. During that while, Kyrie played many video games, steeping herself especially in the rich worlds and stories of the Final Fantasy series. Since then, she thought about those video games through various humanist lenses, from literature to folklore to Japanese studies to her undergraduate majors, until she realized that she could cut to the chase and directly study video games through those various humanist lenses. Thus she found the wonderful people of UW-Madison's Games + Learning + Society group and now finds herself in CMS at MIT, working at the MIT Game Lab and The Education Arcade.
Kyrie's academic interests lie in many directions and disciplines, but for the time being she has settled on the ways in which game design reflects, comments upon, simulates, and seeks to challenge or affirm broader cultural ideas and systems. She believes that both playfulness and emotionality have a distinct and rigorous place in scholarship and life in general, and in the spirit of that, she has published work on the parallels between mystical religious practices and video game play, love as a game mechanic (forthcoming), and a reflexive exploration of how one’s play history shapes one’s life (forthcoming).
Personally, Kyrie has been known to fence sabre and chase down frisbees, listen to much much music and wear fancy dresses, and (unsurprisingly) play all sorts of games. She has no doubt that she is where she is in large part because of her brilliant, driven, and supportive family and friends.
Thesis: Fake the Dawn: Digital Game Mechanics and the Construction of Gender in Fictional Worlds