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Monica Evans

Monica Evans

Associate Professor

Dr. Evans' work sits at the intersection of game design, development, and production; game studies; narrative systems; serious and educational games; and science fiction studies. She directs the Narrative Systems Research Lab.

ATC 3.905

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Arts and Humanities
University of Texas at Dallas - 2007
M.A. - Arts & Technology
University of Texas at Dallas - 2004
B.A. - Plan II Honors and English Honors
University of Texas at Austin - 2002

Research Areas

Game Design and Development
Game Studies
Games and Narrative
Narrative for Interactive Systems
Interactive Fiction
Educational and Serious Games
Science Fiction Studies


Evans, M., and F. Haborak. This Place Has A Future: Representational Game Development By Female and Non-Binary Solo and Small-Team Game Developers. Intersectional Approaches to Game Studies. Forthcoming 2024 - Book Chapter
Evans, M. “You Are The Library: Players as Custodians of Information in In Other Waters and The Return of the Obra Dinn.” Vector: The Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association, edited by Jo Walton and Polina Levontin. Forthcoming Issue 298.  2023 - Journal Article
“Should My Best Prove Insufficient, We Will Find Another Way: Time Loop Mechanics as Expressions of Hope in Digital Games.” International Conference on Human Computer Interaction 2023 - Conference Proceeding
“Video Games Make Time Travel Real (No, Really)." The Astounding Analog Companion, November 2021 - Nonfiction Article
Evans, M. “The Needle And The Wedge: Digital Games as Speculative Art.” Vector: The Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association, edited by Jo Walton and Polina Levontin. Issue 291.  2020 - Journal Article
Evans, M., Ed. Videogame Studies: Concepts, Cultures, and Communication. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press and Brill Publishing. 2019 - Edited Collection
Stobbart, D. and M. Evans, Eds. Engaging with Videogames: Play, Theory, and Practice. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press and Brill Publishing. 2019 - Edited Collection
Evans, M. “Who Did I Jettison Into Space? Complicity as a Tool for Narrative Expression in INSIDE and The Swapper.” The Video Game Art Reader, eds. T. Funk et al, Volume 1, December 2017  2017 - Journal Article


Associate Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [2013–Present]
Assistant Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [2007–2013]


"Conversations with Solo Female and Non-Binary Game Developers," UTD ASPIRE Mentoring Grant Program
2022/10–2023/05 A series of interviews and invited lectures aimed at fostering diversity in game development, while exploring best practices of solo and small-team independent game development. Funded through the UT Dallas ASPIRE Mentoring Grant Program.
Mexica: Decision Points: La Malinche
2017/10–2020/01 A collection of digital narrative games exploring significant moments in Latin American history and culture. This game focused on Malintzin, an indigenous Aztec woman and controversial figure in Mexican history, and her role in the massacre at Cholula. Developed in collaboration with the Institute for Simulations and Games at Central Michigan University (CMU). With Dr. Jonathan Truitt (CMU) and Dr. Lily Ounekeo
Viva Cuba!
2017/10–2020/03 A historical analog simulation intended for high school and university classroom use, in which students experience three phases of the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro’s socialist regime. Developed in partnership with the Center for US-Latin American Initiatives (CUSLAI) at UT Dallas. With Dr. Tim Christopher and Dr. Monica Rankin


Little Utopias: Practical Lessons From Female and Non-Binary Solo and Small Team Game Developers
2023/11–2023/11 This invited lecture examines how the lived experiences of female and non-binary solo and small-team game developers affects their game design practices and creative process, particularly when making games about historically marginalized characters, cultures, and narratives. Part of the Fall 2023 Design x Technology lecture series at Lawrence Technological University.
"Science Compels Us To Explode The Sun! Toward A New Taxonomy For Science Fiction Video Games." International Conference on Narrative.
2023/03–2023/03 Proposing an evolving taxonomy for science fiction games, in which games with science fiction iconography are differentiated from games that mechanically explore humanity’s relationship with science, technology, and change. Ultimately, this presentation examines narratives that are best or only told through the medium of games. Games discussed include Spacewar! (1962), Portal (2007), The Swapper (2013), Stellaris (2016), Nier: Automata (2017), TACOMA (2017), Subnautica (2018), Outer Wilds (2019), Returnal (2021), Citizen Sleeper (2022), and Stray (2022). 

News Articles

Former HuffPost journalist aims to make an ‘NBA 2K’ for American politics
Dr. Evans was interviewed for this Washington Post feature about "Political Arena," an educational game about American politics. 


Editorial Board Member, Central Michigan University Press
A scholarly game press committed to innovative, research-based, peer-reviewed, engaging pedagogical games. The Press is an initiative of the Center for Learning through Games and Simulations at Central Michigan University. 
Advisory Board Member, Video Game Cultures International Conference
An international conference focusing on the interdisciplinary, interactive potential of digital games as a medium. The original Video Game Cultures project ran for seven years in Mansfield College, Oxford, UK; this post-Brexit reboot persists as an open-minded, inclusive, sustainable, and forward-thinking series of events to discuss video games beyond boundaries.
Steering Group Member, Video Game Cultures (Cyberhub, Interdisciplinary.Net)
International Game Developers Association