Zork ZeroWhen Patricia began in games, she wanted to challenge and delight players, and Infocom was a perfect introduction to game development. Notoriously difficult games made by a group of MIT friends conferred bragging rights on the successful and supplied Pizer with a strong basis for developing games.

Throughout her career, cutting edge technology and game diversity drove Patricia’s work. Always seeking to create more immersive and meaningful experiences, she tried her hand at a variety of genres, eventually finding herself in the emerging field of Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs).

MMOs introduced opportunities for communication research, anthropological studies, as well as the opportunity to help set the norms for cyberspace early on, and she was intrigued. Suddenly, games were dealing with tens of thousands of players and huge communities were being created magically but could disappear just as quickly. The evolution of social networks grew out of this and Patricia focused on the social aspects and creating tightly knit communities.

From there, Pizer explored creating even more game experiences, trying her hand at Alternate Reality Games. Having players truly drive the development of the experience for the first time caused her to rethink some of her core beliefs about game creation. A rare opportunity to create & curate an interactive exhibit for UCLA’s Hammer Museum provided an opportunity to illustrate game theory to the uninitiated. Patricia was also named one of the 20 Most Influential Women in Game Design.

If you want a deeper dive, her resume is here.