Heather Kelley

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Heather Kelley
Heather Kelley (portrait, 2012).jpg
Heather Kelley in 2012
Pen name moboid
Occupation Game designer, writer, media artist
Nationality American
Citizenship United States

Heather Kelley (aka moboid) is a media artist and video game designer. She is co-founder of the Kokoromi experimental game collective, with whom she produces and curates the annual Gamma game event promoting experimental games as creative expression in a social context. She is regular jury member for different computer gaming festivals (such as Indiecade) and keynote speaker (at events like FMX Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Interactive Media 2010 in Stuttgart).

Her career in the games industry has included AAA next-gen console games, interactive smart toys, handheld games and web communities for girls. She has created interactive projections using game engines such as Quake and Unreal.

Heather Kelley was Creative Director on the UNFPA Electronic Game to End Gender Violence, at the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.[1] For seven years, Heather served as co-chair of the IGDA's Women in Game Development Special Interest Group.[2]

In May 2014 she joined the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University as an Assistant Teaching Professor.[3]

Project examples[edit]

  • Lapis (2005)
    • Lapis is an interactive art work that helps women take a "magical pet adventure" to their "happy place." The prototype taught how to reach orgasm by simulating the effect of pleasurable sensation on a cartoon bunny.[4][5]
  • Fabulous/Fabuleux (born 2008)
    • Her experimental art game work with Lynn Hughes, "Fabulous/Fabuleux,"[6] was created at Concordia University's Hexagram Institute and integrates gameplay into a full-body interactive installation using custom "squishy" interface hardware (Video).
  • Body Heat (2010)
    • Body Heat is a vibrator interface for the iPhone and iPad. By "finger painting" on the touchscreen with one or two fingertips, the user can adjust and adapt vibration speed, intensity, and patterns solely by sense of touch. Output from Body Heat is translated into signals which propel the motor of an attached vibrator. The project was first presented at the sex tech conference Arse Elektronika in September 2010 in San Francisco.[7] The company OhMiBod, which specializes in music-driven vibrators, was so impressed by the design that they bought the application and renamed it into "OhMiBod app" in early 2011.[8][9]
  • Joue Le Jeu (2012)
    • Joue Le Jeu was a well-received[10][11] exhibition at La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris, France. It showcased new forms of games and creative game design. The exhibition was not a static retrospective, but a hands-on experience of all types of interactive play: video games, mixed digital/physical/social/board games. Heather Kelley (and her co-curators Lynn Hughes and Cindy Poremba) focused their curation on new narratives, game styles and innovative aesthetics that are different from familiar game industry blockbusters.


Her biographical sex game concept with Erin Robinson, "Our First Times," won the 2009 GDC Game Design Challenge,[12] and her game concept "Lapis" based on female masturbation won the 2006 MIGS Game Design Challenge.
In Spring 2008, she was Kraus Visiting Assistant Professor of Art, and Adjunct Faculty at the Entertainment Technology Center, at Carnegie Mellon University, where she organized The Art of Play symposium and art game arcade.[13]
In September 2009, she was Artist in Residence for Subotron[14] at Quartier21, Museumsquartier Vienna.
She was part of Fast Company's 2011 list of 'most influential women in technology'. [15] In March 2013 she was awarded the "GDC 2013 Women in Gaming Award" as "Innovator", granted for breakthrough innovation in her work.[16]

Video game credits[edit]

Kelley is credited on the following games:

Film credits[edit]

Kelley co-produced the nerd documentary Traceroute (2016)