Director at Center for Digital Games Research, UC Santa Barbara
Debra Lieberman is a media researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she directs the university’s Center for Digital Games Research (www.cdgr.ucsb.edu). From 2007 to 2013 she directed Health Games Research, a national program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to advance the research, design, and effectiveness of health games and to provide scientific leadership in this emerging field. Debra’s research focuses on processes of learning and behavior change with interactive digital media and she has published widely. She also consults for health organizations, education agencies, and media and technology companies to improve user engagement and to help design and evaluate digital media and games for entertainment, learning, and health behavior change, for people of all ages. She has consulted for Apple, Disney, HopeLab, Kaiser Permanente, and The Learning Company, and for agencies including the CDC, the NIH, the ODPHP and others. Prior to UC Santa Barbara, in the early 1990’s, Debra was VP of Research at health media company Click Health, where she directed the research and design of groundbreaking evidence-based health video games, played on the Super Nintendo console, that improved players’ health behaviors and clinical outcomes in randomized controlled trials, and prior to that she was a faculty member in the Department of Telecommunications at Indiana University, Bloomington. Debra holds an Ed.M. in Media and Learning (1974) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she worked with Sesame Street researchers and producers to develop and evaluate educational TV series for children, and she holds a Ph.D. in Communication Research (1986) from Stanford University.