Associate Director of MATRIX
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Director of Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative
Ethan Watrall is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University and Associate Director of MATRIX. In addition, Ethan is Director of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative and the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool at MSU. Ethan’s research interests fall in the domain of cultural heritage informatics, with a particular (though hardly exclusive) focus on digital archaeology, serious games and meaningful play for cultural heritage learning, outreach, and engagement. Ethan is PI of the NEH funded “Red Land/Black Land: Teaching Ancient Egyptian History Through Game-Based Learning” project as well as co-PI of the NEH funded “Pox and the City: A Digital Role-Playing Game for the Ethnohistory of Medicine” project. In addition, Ethan is co-editor of Archaeology 2.0: New Tools for Communication and Collaboration (UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, 2011).
Ethan is also founder and editor of Play the Past, an interdisciplinary, collaboratively authored scholarly blog dedicated to thoughtfully exploring and discussing the intersection of cultural heritage and games/meaningful play. He also regularly writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education’s ProfHacker blog. Ethan has served as a member of the National Academies Committee for Modeling, Simulation, and Gaming.