Associate Professor of Digital Media

American University in Dubai
P.O. Box 28282, Dubai - U.A.E., dl. +971 4 318 3207
t. +971 4 399 9000 Ext.  207, m. +971 52 824 6188
spencerstriker@gmail.com, spencerstriker.com

Curriculum Vitae
April 2019


PhD Digital Media, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012
Focus: Digital Media & Learning, Mobile Design, Transmedia Creative Production

MS Media, Design & Production, Indiana University at Bloomington, 2008
Focus: New Media Production and Design, Entrepreneurship, Game Media, Social Media

BS/BA Radio-TV-Film/History, University of Texas at Austin, 2001
Phi Beta Kappa


Associate Professor of Digital Media
& Coordinator of the Digital Media Program
American University in Dubai, 2018 - present

Assistant Professor of Digital Media, American University in Dubai, 2015 - 2018

Founding Creative Director, Galxyz Inc., 2013 - 2015

Producer & Product Manager, Kno Inc., (building Galxyz in stealth mode until Intel acquisition), January 2013 – September 2013

Co-Founder, Lecturer, Media Arts & Game Development Program, University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, 2009-2013

Founder, Executive Producer, GameZombie TV, 2007-2013

Adjunct Professor, Indiana University at Bloomington, 2008-2009

Adjunct Professor, Ivy Tech Community College, Bloomington, IN, January 2009 – August 2009

MEDIA AWARDS - Selections

2019 Tokyo Slush, Startup Showcase, (official selection) - History Adventures live demo, v2.0
2019 Step Conference, Startup Showcase, (official selection) - History Adventures demo, v2.0
2018 Step Conference, Startup Showcase, (official selection) - Big History Adventures
2017 Twisted Cargo, MotionBook for MadeFire (published internationally to MadeFire Store)
2017 Web Summit ALPHA Programme Selection - Big History Adventures
2010 Webby Award - Online Film & Video
2010 People’s Voice Webby Award - Online Film & Video
2010 Davey Silver Award – Online Film & Video
2010 UW-W Communication Department Award for Excellence in Service
2009 Webby Honoree Award - Online Film & Video
2008 Webby Honoree Award - Online Film & Video

2017 Dubai Smartpreneur 2.0 Competition - Big History Adventures
2012 Digital Media & Learning Competition – GameZombie TV
2010 Mashable Award – Best Web Video


History Adventures - 2016 - present

History Adventures is a digital book application I am developing in association with leading historians from around the world--including luminaries from the International Big History Association--as well as an international team of animators, narrative designers, visual fx artists, and character concept illustrators. History Adventures represents a next gen multimodal digital learning experience for 21st Century students--combining innovations in mobile entertainment design technology--including motion, maps of time, branching path cinematics, data visualization, animation, music, and sound fx--with the powerful storytelling device of narrativizing the life stories of peoples who lived in past centuries, in different epochs and locations around the globe; with the innovative, cross-disciplinary curricula of Big History: to create a revolutionary interactive learning experience that enhances and broadens student comprehension of the complex world around us.

Dubai Wave Podcast - 2017 - present

Founded the #1 podcast in Dubai, (rated by What’s On Dubai Magazine, August 2017 issue). The Dubai Wave Podcast looks at big picture Dubai via an in-depth interview series format. Each episode focuses on a unique topic, such as Dubai Fitness; Dubai Social Media; Dubai Food Scene; Dubai Music, etc., with the goal to illuminate a 360-degree viewpoint of all the exciting things happening in the gem of the Middle East. The guest list to date includes the founders of two of Dubai’s most popular food blogs (Dubai Foodie Scene); the founder of Dubai’s most influential MMA gym, Tam Khan (Dubai MMA); successful entrepreneur, Anas Bukhash (Dubai Entrepreneurship); the editor of What’s On Dubai, Laura Coughlin (Dubai Magazines); the founder of the biggest tech conference in the Middle East, Ray Dargham, (Dubai Tech); and the host of Virgin Radio, Brent Black, (Dubai Radio).

Dubai Wave Podcast Interview Selections
Dubai Tech, featuring Ray Dargham, founder of Step Conference - March 28, 2017
Dubai Radio, featuring Brent Black of Virgin Radio - March 22, 2017
Art Dubai, featuring Myrna Ayad, director of Art Dubai - March 14, 2017

Digital Dubai Podcast - 2016

Launched in March of 2016, Digital Dubai focuses on bringing listeners topical segments and informative conversations with local experts exploring the latest developments in the digital media/tech scene in the burgeoning international capital that is Dubai. Hosted by Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media prof at the American University in Dubai - episodes are recorded on location at AUD in the heart of Dubai’s Media City - with students, campus-wide, involved both in the show’s production and as part of a live studio audience, encouraged to participate and ask questions of the industry guests.

Digital Media & Tech in Dubai Interview Selections
Dubai & the Future of Digital Music, featuring Rami Zeidan of Anghami - November 24, 2016
Dubai, the Best City in the World, featuring Yousef Tuqan of Careem - October 5, 2016
Digital Dubai’s Command Center, featuring Hussein Dajani of Hug Digital - May 8, 2016

Twisted Cargo - 2015

A next gen digital graphic novel experience originally designed for UAE Innovation Week, and built on the proprietary MadeFire MotionBook platform--the project leverages the affordances of the iPad Pro and utilizes multimodality; interactivity; motion fx; parallax; panorama; sound design; and an original music score. Story: In a post-zombocalyptic world, the dark scientist Anthony is charged by the bloodthirty tyrant, Typhus Argento, with transporting certain unspeakable horrors to a mysterious buyer in Chicago. The guilt-torn doctor has other plans. Published live, on the international MadeFire platform.

Galxyz Inc. - 2013-2015

Spearheaded product and creative for a new mobile digital games company, Galxyz, from concept to full-fledged startup—with $4m in Series A funding from Relay Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective. Responsibilities have included: 

Product design and development from concept to a fully realized next generation mobile product; building and quarterbacking large, cross-functional teams—synthesizing the efforts of a seasoned internal software team in Santa Clara, specialized international contractors, a competitive summer internship program (in partnership with Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center), and an award-winning external production studio (Filament Games, of Madison, WI); building from scratch an internal studio of mobile game development professionals at the Galxyz headquarters in Mountain View; utilizing entrepreneurial drive to define product strategy and provide technical solutions; employing vision to creatively direct a scalable next gen digital media product initiative.

Galxyz Inc. - Media Selections

Galxyz Gameplay Demo - private link (10m)
Showcases key highlights and features of the narrative-driven mobile game experience.
Galxyz Trailer (3m)
Galxyz Website - introduces the narrative, curriculum, and mobile product design
Galxyz Facebook - slideshow teases in-product scenes

Galxyz - Origin Docs

Galxyz Original Narrative Concept Doc (drafted March 2013 - confidential)
Galxyz Original Visualization Concept Pitch (drafted Feb 2013 - confidential)

GameZombie TV - 2007-2013

As founder and executive producer of GameZombie TV, 2007-2013, expanded the multiplatform game media studio from Indiana University to the University of Wisconsin. Combining expertise in cross-disciplinary digital media production with applied research in constructivist, next gen learning, scaled the student-fueled initiative into a professionally recognized game media brand--achieving press credentialed media coverage of 25 major game conferences. At peak strength, GameZombie TV incorporated the combined efforts of an 80 person interdisciplinary student team working synergistically at Indiana and Wisconsin.

GameZombie TV - Project Development & Media Partnerships

In the six years I ran the Midwestern game media studio, GZ produced over 500 original game videos for global webcast, garnering over 100 front page editor’s picks on major video sharing sites, front page articles on 40 websites, and competitive visibility in gaming related search. Official partnerships with YouTube, Dailymotion, and Metacafe, pushed GameZombie’s global view count over 10,000,000. GZ's game developer interview series--more than 200 exclusives--features some of the biggest names in the business, including Peter Molyneux of Fable, Ed Boon of Mortal Kombat, Todd Howard of Fallout, and Cliff Bleszinski of Gears of War. In August of 2009, GameZombie launched ButtonMashers S2, an original gaming news variety show shot in the $2.5m HDTV studio at IU; it quickly became one of the most popular web series on YouTube that summer. After winning a 2008 and 2009 Webby Honoree Award for Online Video, GameZombie won the Internet Industry's two highest honors in 2010, a Webby Award and a People's Voice Webby Award.

GameZombie TV has now evolved into a centerpiece of the Media Arts & Game Development Program at UW-W. Students were granted total control upon my departure in January of 2013--and the student-run studio continued to produce original, creative multiplatform game media until 2015.

GameZombie TV - Media Selections

GameZombie 2010 Webby Award Reel - April 22, 2010

Developer Interviews
Warren Spector, Epic Mickey - November 19, 2010
Evan Wells, Uncharted 2 - June 30, 2009
Ben Mattes, Prince of Persia - December 1, 2008
Product Spotlights
50 Cent, Sleek by 50 - December 9, 2011
Creative Originals
Mario Chaplin - September 24, 2009
Behind the Scenes Photos:
Working in IU Media Lab - Spring 2009
On Location at the E3 Expo - Summer 2009

Original GZ Syllabus - Indiana University, Spring 2009:
Web Video & the Game Industry – GameZombie TV

Press Credentialed Professional Media Coverage Includes:

Game Developers Conference 07, 08, 09, 10, 11 (San Francisco)
Penny Arcade Expo 08, 09, 10 (Seattle)
Penny Arcade Expo East 11, 12 (Boston)
Electronic Entertainment Expo 08, 09, 10, 11 (Los Angeles)
GenCon 08, 09 (Indianapolis)
Consumer Electronics Show 10, 11, 13 (Las Vegas)
Comic-Con 11 (San Diego)

TechZombie TV - 2010-2012

Motivated by teaching and research interests, launched a modest new media/tech interview series called TechZombie TV. A series of leading technology thinkers from around the country Skyped into my classes at UW-Whitewater, including such luminaries as Craig Newmark, Guy Kawasaki, John Battelle, Michael Chorost, Siva Vaidhyanathan, and Kevin Kelly. Highlighted selections:  

Guy Kawasaki - July 13, 2011
Craig Newmark - December 17, 2010
John Battelle - May 16, 2012

Behind the Scenes Photos:
Tech Experts Skype into my Social Media Class - Spring 2011

Games Learning & Society Interview Series - Summer 2011

Upon request from my advisor, and famed game studies scholar, Constance Steinkuehler, produced an original interview series for the GLS, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, featuring some of the brightest games & learning scholars in the country. Highlighted selections:

Kurt Squire - August 11, 2011
Eric Klopfer - August 11, 2011

Behind the Scenes Photos:
MAGD Students Shooting the GLS - Summer 2011


Striker, S. (2019). History Adventures - Playable Demo Version 2.0. Slush Tokyo, Startup Showcase. Tokyo, Japan, February 22-23.

Striker, S. (2019). History Adventures - Playable Demo Version 2.0. Presented at Step Conference, Startup Showcase. Dubai, UAE, February 13.

Striker, S. (2018). Big History Adventures - Playable Demo Version 1.0. Presented at Step Conference, Startup Showcase. Dubai, UAE, March 28.

Striker, S. (2017). Case Study: A New Digital Learning Experience with Big History Adventures. Presented at EduTECH Middle East. Dubai, November 14-15.

Striker, S. (2017). Big History Adventures - Invited Demo. Presented at Web Summit, ALPHA Exhibition. Lisbon, Portugal, November 7-9.

Striker, S. (2017). Big History Adventures: Dubai Smart City Initiative. Presented at ArabNet Digital Summit, Smartpreneur 2.0 Competition. Dubai, May 17.

Striker, S. (2017). Big History Adventures: People in Time, Connected by Eternity. Presented at AUD Visual Cultures Forum, Dubai, April 9.

Striker, S. (2016). A Little Big History of Human Collective Learning: From Theory to Digital Book Application. Presented at the International Big History Association Conference, Amsterdam, July 14-17.

Striker, S. (2015). Spencer Striker’s Twisted Cargo: A Next Gen Digital Graphic Novel. Presented at UAE Innovation Week, Dubai, November 28.

Striker, S. (2012). The Dark Side of the Web: Hyperpersonalization, the Filter Bubble, and Information Fatigue. Presented at the Technology, Knowledge, and Society Conference, Los Angeles, CA, January 16-18.

Striker, S. (2011). The Future of the Book is Now – a case-study. Presented at the HASTAC Conference, Ann Arbor, MI, December 1-3.

Striker, S. (2011). GameZombie TV: Using Badges to Assess a Project-Based Learning Environment. Presented at the Ubiquitous Learning Conference, Berkeley CA, November 11-12.

Striker, S. (2011). GameZombie TV: Using Game Media Production to Construct a Project Based Learning Environment. Presented at the EDUCAUSE Conference, Philadelphia PA, October 18-21.

Striker, S. (2011). Designing Game Based Learning Activities. Presented at the Games, Learning, & Society Conference, Madison WI, June 15-17.

Striker, S., Herriott, J., & Fishburn, J. (2011). Building the Media Arts & Game Development Program at UWW – A Case Study. Presented at the Games, Learning, & Society Conference, Madison WI, June 15-17.

Striker, S., Sanders, T., & Miller, S. (2011). New Media Panel Discussion. Invited talk presented at the UW System Integrated Marketing and Communication Conference, Oshkosh WI, June 1-2.

Striker, S. (2011). GameZombie TV. Ignite Talk. Presented at the Digital Media and Learning Conference (DML), Long Beach CA, March 3-5.


Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign, 2019 (in progress, April 2019)
Oxford Summer Research Institute Fellowship, 2016
Faculty Student Mentorship Grant, Office of the Provost, AUD, 2016
Faculty Teaching Offset Award (FTO), Office of the Provost, AUD, 2016
Grant Writing Fellowship, Digital Media & Learning Competition, Badges for Lifetime Learning, 2012
Inclusive Excellence Initiatives Grant, 2012
Visiting Artist Grant, 2012
Academic Staff Development Grant, AERA, 2011
Academic Staff Development Grant, Next Web Conference, 2010
Grant from College of Arts & Communication and Provost Office, Webby Awards, 2010
Just-In-Time Award, Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, 2010


Creative Opportunities in Contemporary Media, for LICM Master’s Program (designed), AUD
Digital Podcast Production (Designed), AUD
Online Media Production (Designed), AUD
Mobile App Design & Development (Designed), AUD
Next Gen Interactive Entertainment (Designed), AUD
Fundamentals of Web Design (Designed), AUD
Design Concepts for the Web (Designed), AUD
Computer Graphics I, AUD
Computer Graphics II, AUD
Social Media Optimization & the New Web (Designed), UW-W, AUD
New Communication Technologies (Designed), UW-W
Fundamentals of Video Production, UW-W
Intro to Media Arts & Game Development (Designed), UW-W
Intro to Web Development, UW-W  
MAGD Internship, UW-W
Web Video & the Game Industry – GameZombie TV (Designed), Indiana University/UW-W
Game Development (Designed), Ivy Tech
Web Development, Ivy Tech
Web Graphics, Ivy Tech


AUD Students Win 3 New Huawei Phones as Part of Professional Design Theme Challenge Arranged by Dr. Spencer Striker & the Huawei Creative Team, AUD News & Events, March 19, 2018

100-Hour Challenge winners to receive awards in entrepreneurship class, UW-Madison News, Stacy Forster, March 1, 2010


Co-Founder, Lecturer - Media Arts & Game Development Program at UW-W - 2009-2012
While simultaneously earning a PhD, 2009-2012, worked full time to bring entrepreneurial drive and vision to the launching of the University of Wisconsin system's premiere new media and game development studio. Oversaw the design and building of a cutting-edge multimedia production lab; planned the social media marketing strategy; obtained numerous articles in the press; designed the program website; brought together a distinguished advisory board; built a gaming community; connected the Midwestern studio to the game industry via conference coverage and networking; obtained professional game industry keynotes for the annual expo; integrated 21st Century pedagogical innovations; and developed and expanded numerous timely courses including Social Media Optimization and the New Web, New Communication Technologies, and the award-winning GameZombie TV digital media practicum.

Committee Member: Provost’s Award Committee, 2018; Main Reader: Innovation in Teaching, Creativity in Design and the Visual Arts
Committee Member, AUD, Library Advisory, 2017-present
Committee Member, AUD, LICM, Curriculum Development: LICM 606: Creative Opportunities in Contemporary Media; including initiating Professional Guest Speaker Series
Committee Member, AUD, Library Advisory, 2017-present
Committee Member, AUD, Dept of Visual Comm, Academic Accreditation, 2015-present
Committee Member, AUD, Visual Cultures Forum, Invited Speaker: Jonathan Markley, Big History, Innovating Educational Multimedia, 2017
Committee Member, AUD, Marketing Technologies, 2015-2016
Advisory Committee Member, AUD, May Chidiac Conference, 2016
Committee Member, MAGD Advisory Board, 2011-2012
Committee Member, MAGD Curricular Planning & Program Development, 2009-2012
Committee Chair, MAGD Community Building, 2009-2012
Committee Member, MAGD Expo, 2009-2012
Committee Member, MAGD Faculty Search, 2009-2011
Committee Chair, MAGD Social Media Marketing, 2009-2011
Committee Chair, MAGD Lab Modernization, 2009-2010
Committee Chair, MAGD Website Design & Development, 2010
Committee Chair, MAGD Advisory Board, 2009-2010
Committee Member, State of the University Speech, 2010

Upon request from UW-W Chancellor Richard Telfer, produced this amusing video for his SOTU speech: Chancellor Telfer Animated Speech Intro


Big History Adventures
Dubai Chamber Announces Winners of Dubai Smartpreneur Competition, DubaiChamber.com, May 18, 2017

STEP Conference 2018 - Participating Startups, stepconference.com, March 28, 2018

Dubai Wave Podcast

Digital Dubai Audio Code to the World, Al Bayan News, Bayan Al Sutari, April 11, 2018
The Best Podcasts in the UAE, Culture Feature, What’s On Dubai (print magazine), August 2017
Perk Up Your Morning Commute With this Podcast by Dubai Students, DubaiWeek.ae, Jane O’Neill, May 14, 2017

Digital Media & Tech in Dubai

AUD looks to next season of tech podcasts: Professor seeks to identify unique aspects of Dubai’s technology sector, Gulf News, Andrew Staples, Chief Business Reporter, June 17, 2016
Launch of podcast gets Dubai tech heads talking, The National - UAE, Emmanuel Samoglou, April 2, 2016

Get Your Kid to Play This Online Game and Win a Scholarship, Bloomberg Businessweek - Technology, Peter Coy, 9/24/14 (Partnership Announcement with the NY Academy of Sciences and the Global Stem Alliance at the United Nations)
White House Science Fair Fact Sheet & Backgrounder: Highlights New Commitments to Help More Girls and Boys Succeed in STEM, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, May 27, 2014 (Galxyz mentioned on the White House website)
Chegg, Kno Co-Founder Tries Hand at Educational Games, EdSurge, May 1, 2014
Introducing Galxyz: Come for the Intergalactic Battles – Stay for the Science, Recode, James Temple, 4/29, 2014 (Product Announcement at Science House in NYC)

GameZombie TV - Wisconsin
Games journalism for college credit: GameZombie.tv, Polygon, Alexa Ray Corriea, August 17, 2013 Student web series nominated for $200,000 grant, UWW University News, Jeff Angileri, December 15, 2011
UW-Whitewater students head to New York to accept Webby Awards, Wisconsin State Journal, Patricia Simms, June 11, 2010
GameZombie reviews come with a tech lesson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Stanley A. Miller II, April 24, 2010
Web series project offers real-life experience to UW-W students, GazetteXtra.com, Kayla Bunge, October 30, 2009

GameZombie TV – Indiana
IU Office of Scholarships, GameZombie.tv honored with Webby Awards, IU News Room, Sarah Booher, April 19, 2010 
‘ButtonMashers’ Resets With Season 2, Lands Gaming Sponsor Tubefilter, July 27, 2009
Student-produced GameZombie.tv is a Webby Honoree for second straight year, IU News Room, May 14, 2009
Zombies + Game News = 1.5M Views, GigaOm, Wagner James Au, August 31, 2008
GameZombie.tv: Rolling with the last guys on the planet Destructoid, August 8, 2008
Student-produced GameZombie.tv Web site named a Webby Honoree IU News Room, April 23, 2008

TechZombie TV
Social Media Class Skypes with Internet Celebs, Inside Higher Ed, Joshua Kim, February 21, 2011