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Ian Bogost
Bogost with an Atari VCS joystick
Occupation(s)Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, co-founder of Persuasive Games

Ian Bogost is an American academic and video game designer, most known for the game Cow Clicker. He holds a joint professorship at Washington University as director and professor of the Film and Media Studies program in Arts & Sciences and the McKelvey School of Engineering. He previously held a joint professorship in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication and in Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Chair in Media Studies.

He is the author of Alien Phenomenology or What It's Like to be a Thing and Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism and Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames and the co-author of Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System and Newsgames: Journalism at Play. His Atari 2600 game, A Slow Year, won two awards, Vanguard and Virtuoso, at IndieCade 2010.[1] Bogost has released many other games, including Cow Clicker, a satire and critique of the influx of social network games. He is a frequent contributer to The Atlantic.[2]


Bogost received his bachelor's in Philosophy and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California in 1998. He then went on to get his masters in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2001, and received his doctorate in Comparative Literature from UCLA in 2004.[3]

Professional career

In 2008, Bogost became an associate professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2010, he was appointed Director of the Graduate Program in Digital Media, a position he held until 2012. In 2011, Bogost became a professor of Digital Media and an adjunct professor of Interactive Computing. In 2012, he was named the Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and a professor of Interactive Computing, both positions he still holds. With Christopher Schaberg, he is co-editor of the series Object Lessons from Bloomsbury Publishing.

His book Alien Phenomenology or What It's Like to be a Thing (University of Minnesota Press, 2012) critiques aspects of Bruno Latour's actor-network theory.[4]

In 2021, Bogost quit his job at the Georgia Institute of Technology partly because of the university's lack of COVID-19 protection requirements. He took a joint professorship at Washington University where he serves as director and professor of the Film and Media Studies program in Arts & Sciences[5] and the McKelvey School of Engineering.

Bogost was a co-founder of the game studio Persuasive Games, for which he is currently the chief designer.

Honors and awards


This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (September 2013)
Game Release Notes
Simony 2012 Released as both an iOS game and an installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville[7]
A Slow Year: Game Poems 2010
Cow Clicker[8] 2010
Guru Meditation 2009 Also released for Atari VCS as a limited edition[9]
Fatworld 2007
Cruel 2 B Kind[10] 2006 Concept and Design w/ Jane McGonigal[11]
Jetset: A Game for Airports[12] 2006
Sweaty Palms 2004
Horde of Directors 2004 Concept and Design w/ Michael Keesey[13]
The Howard Dean for Iowa Game[14] 2003 Concept and Design w/ Gonzalo Frasca[15]



  1. ^ "IndieCade Award Winners". IndieCade. March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  2. ^ All articles by Ian Bogost on The Atlantic
  3. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2022-12-28.
  4. ^ Hurley, Mary Kate (2016). "Saintly Ecologies: Tracing Collectivities in the Life of King Oswald of Northumbria". In Randy P. Schiff; Joseph Taylor (eds.). The Politics of Ecology: Life, Land, and Law in Medieval Britain. Columbus: Ohio State UP. pp. 127–50. ISBN 9780814212950.
  5. ^ Stirgus, Eric (August 2, 2021). "Georgia colleges not requiring masks on campus as cities issue mandates". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  6. ^ a b McElroy, Griffin (3 September 2010). "IndieCade 2010 finalists announced, everyone's nominated for everything". Engadget.
  7. ^ Bogost, Ian. "Simony".
  8. ^ Tanz, Jason. "The Curse of Cow Clicker: How a Cheeky Satire Became a Videogame Hit". Wired. Vol. 20, no. 1. Conde Nast. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  9. ^ Bogost, Ian. "Guru Meditation".
  10. ^ "". Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Cruel 2 B Kind - about". Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  12. ^ "". Persuasive Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  13. ^ Bogost, Ian. "Horde of Directors".
  14. ^ "". Dean for America. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  15. ^ "". Dean for America. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  16. ^ "The State of Play: Creators and Critics on Video Game Culture". Seven Stories Press. Seven Stories Press. Retrieved 20 October 2015.