McCoy, Josh

Assistant Professor Josh McCoy

email: jamccoy at ucdavis dot edu

Department of Computer Science
2063 Kemper Hall
University of California
Davis, CA 95616


Spring 2018


In his role as Assistant Professor at UC Davis in the departments of Computer Science and Cinema and Digital Media, Josh is a game developer, computer scientist and cross-disciplinary researcher whose work lies at the confluence of game technology, social science, artificial intelligence and design. His goal is to create playable experiences that communicate to broad audiences and critically address the challenges present in our society while expanding the boundaries of technology. The most recent products of his research involve combining artificial intelligence techniques with social science to create meaningful, responsive and socially engaging game experiences.

His key works includes the experimental and award-winning game Prom Week that enables a new level of social interaction between characters via an artificial intelligence system that leverages social science to make social behavior playable. Featured in a DARPA-funded project, his work was used to enable trainees to engage socially responsive characters with full-bodied interaction for the purpose of teaching good stranger behavior to soldiers in foreign lands. Josh’s complimentary focuses have been on improving dialogue with characters, threading more complex reasoning through multiple game systems, authoring methods and tools for creating complex narrative worlds, assessment and learning through game systems, and exploring interface modes ranging from fully-embodied interaction to controlling a game with a loom.


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