Pat Healy



I am a serious games researcher with 6 years of experience designing, developing, and assessing video games. I hold my research interests, passion for teaching, and pursuit of creative opportunities in equal regard, which thus far has made academia an attractive option. My current research focus is on investigating procedural rhetoric as a mechanism for serious games' ability to educate, persuade, or inspire in various contexts.

PhD Student in Information Science

I've been in my PhD program since Summer 2019 and expect to complete it around Summer 2023.

  • Place of Work: University of Pittsburgh
  • City: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • Email:

Since Summer 2019, I’ve been a PhD student in Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh, advised by Dr. Dmitriy Babichenko. My research interests are primarily in serious games in political contexts and usable programing in game engines, but I’m also interested in Human-Computer Interaction and Computational Social Science more broadly.

I’m known to juggle a dozen creative projects alongside my research work in a desperate attempt to achieve creative fulfillment in the poverty-waged crunch-culture of grad-level academia. That fulfillment thing probably won’t work out, but you can still find the small fraction of those projects that ever reach completion on this site.


I am primarily a researcher but my particular research requires a lot of software engineering. Here are the tools I regularly use.

Unity Use it Nearly Everyday
Unreal Engine Regularly advise students on it
Java Most of my CS education was in Java
Twine Regularly prototype with it
Adobe Premire Pro Often edit clips of games, sometimes video essays
Python Use it Nearly Everyday
Arduino Helped students build a lot of alternative game controllers
Ren'Py I've worked on three visual novels
Adobe Photoshop Mostly used for stupid memes
PHP Unfortunately, I know PHP

^^^If you're unsure what the progress bars precisely mean in this context, so am I


You can download a more exhaustive resume or CV at this link.


Pat Healy

Serious games researcher with 6 years of experience designing, developing, and assessing video games meant to educate, train, or persuade.

  • Pittsburgh, PA


Doctorate of Philosophy in Information Science

2019 - Present

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

I'm currently enrolled in this program. I began in May of 2019, two weeks after graduating with my undergraduate degrees.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Bachelor of Science in Information Science

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

2015 - 2019

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

I graduate with three Bachelor's degrees in 2019, the Computer Science and Philosophy degrees awarded by Pitt's Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences and the Information Science degree awarded by Pitt's School of Computing & Information.

Teaching Experience


2019 - Present

Courses I have co-taught with another instructor.

  • INFSCI 1450: Game Design (Fall 2019, 2020, & 2021)

Teaching Assistant

2019 - Present

Courses I served as a teaching assistant for as a graduate student.

  • INFSCI 1430: User Experience Engineering (Spring 2021)
  • INFSCI 0510: Data Analytics (Fall 2020)
  • INFSCI 1061: Game Implementation (Spring 2020)
  • INFSCI 0010: Intro to Information, Systems, & Society (Spring 2020)

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

2016 - 2019

Courses I served as teaching assistant for as an undergraduate.

  • INFSCI 1061: Game Implementation (Spring 2019)
  • CS 0449: Intro to Systems Software (Spring 2019)
  • CS 0401: Immediate Programming with Java (Fall 2018 & Fall 2017)
  • CS 0008: Intro to Programming with Python (Spring 2018)
  • CS 0007: Intro to Programming with Java (Fall 2017, Spring 2018, & Fall 2018)
  • Peer Tutoring: Various CS Course 0007 through 1501 (Summer 2017)
  • ENGLIT 0331: Great Books and Modernity: Part 2 (Spring 2017)
  • ENGLIT 0330: Great Books and Modernity: Part 1 (Fall 2016)

Professional Experience

Undergraduate Researcher @ Working for Kids: Building Skills LLC

2016 - 2019
  • Design, develop, and research educational technologies to teach the public about brain development
  • Lead teams in the creation of two games: "First Pathways" and "Abingdon High: Homecoming"

Undergraduate Researcher @ McLaren Lab at the Carnegie Mellon University HCI Institute

Summer 2018
  • Researched educational games for teaching math skills to middle school students, as a part of the HCII Summer Research Program

Application Developer @ InPho Lab at the University of Pittsburgh

2018 - 2019
  • Automating research tasks for a History of Philosophy project in Python and MySQL, mostly web-scraping

Social Media Ambassador @ the University of Pittsburgh Office of Admissions

2016 - 2019
  • Provided content for two social media accounts, @h2ppatrick on both Twitter and Instagram

Software Developer @ Vibrant Media Lab at the University of Pittsburgh

2017 - 2019
  • Pioneering the software development behind the OdysseyNow project, an emulation of the Magnavox Odyssey
  • Continuing development on the Scanner Praxis: an open-source book scanner maker project


Graduate Student Organizing Commitee

2019 - Present
  • Fighting for the rights of graduate workers at the University of Pittsburgh, organizing several public demonstrations and regular organizing meetings


2018 - 2019
  • Founded and president of this student organization, focused on design, development, and research around educational and transformative games

Pitt Men's Glee Club

2015 - 2019
  • Sang bass in the Glee Club and Pantherhythms
  • Served as the club's media chairman and business manager


The following is a selection of creative projects I have personally worked on (mostly video games).

  • All
  • Games
  • Software
  • Video
  • WIP


Selected Publications

Reverse chronological order

Judy Cameron, Madison Very, Patrick Healy, Amelia Potter, Jelena Komanchuk, Lani Vargas, Sachi Penha, Julianne Wanner, Sai Bhatte, Delaney Jones, Allyson Letavic, Nicole Letourneau, Jeanette Trauth. The Simple Interactions Tool: Studying the Impact of two Intervention Programs with Pre-School age Children. Society for Research in Child Development Virtual Biennial Meeting 2021.

Dmitriy Babichenko, Patrick Healy, Cynthia Danford. MountainQuest: Designing an Action/Adventure game to teach children about nutrition. European Conference on Games Based Learning 2021. doi:

Pat Healy, Tristan Maidment, Anthony Sicilia, Dmitriy Babichenko, Malihe Alikhani, Deception Detection in Human-Machine Visual Dialog. STAR Talk at the Natural Language, Dialog and Speech Symposium, The New York Academy of Sciences, 2020.

Dmitriy Babichenko, Patrick Healy, Marcela Gomez, Sandra Kane-Gill, Eliza Beth Littleton, Peter Brusilovsky, Paul Cohen, Ravi Patel. The Use of Agent-Based Models As Non-Player Characters in Serious Games. Conference Paper in 2020 IEEE 8th International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health(SeGAH). DOI: 10.1109/SeGAH49190.2020.9201889

Dmitriy Babichenko, Ravi Patel, Victoria Grieve, Stephen Canton, Patrick Healy, Eliza Littleton, Nicole Donnellan, Edward Andrews. SterileAR: Evaluation of Augmented Reality and Computer Vision Approaches for Real-Time Feedback in Sterile Compounding Training. Conference Paper in 2020 6th International Conference of the Immersive Learning Research Network. DOI: 10.23919/iLRN47897.2020.9155164

Judy L. Cameron, Alexandra S. Miragaia, Patrick Healy, Samantha Sostorecz, Jorge Garcia-Cordero, Rysa L. Gagliano, Alexis Bialota, Katie Pyle, Karlie Brasch, Niyati Panchal, Shalini Jose, Jeanette Trauth. A New Neuroscience Education Program to Promote Healthy Brain Development in Children. Society for Research in Child Development 2019 Biennial Meeting; Baltimore, MD; March 21st, 2019.

Preparing for Publication

Stuff to look forward to

Pat Healy, Celine Lu, Dmitriy Babichenko, Oliver Lindhiem, Jennifer Silk. Dr. Zoo: An exposure-based video game to reduce needle phobia in young children.

Pat Healy, Jessica FitzPatrick, Dmitriy Babichenko. Trillionaire: A case study in raging within the machine.

Pat Healy & Hannah Standiford. Liveness Through Listener Autonomy in a COVID-19 Era Concert Venue Virtual World.

Kai-Lin You, Rebecca K. Delaney, Natalie McKinley, Pat Healy, Teresa H. Thomas. Who engages and why it matters: Describing participant engagement in a serious game intervention for patients with advanced cancer.

Tricia Shelton, Corinne Benatowicz, Patrick Healy, Neal D. Ryan, Judy L. Cameron. Development and Testing of a Curriculum to Improve Decision-Making Skills in Middle and High School Students.


If for some reason you need to get a hold of me, you can reach me through email or find me having too many opinions on Twitter.