College:College of Sciences
Degree Program:Digital Media MA
Research Focus:Digital and interactive story creation
Alex Boyd always finds inspiration in his appreciation for life. Although growing up with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has been a lot of hard work put in by his doctors, friends, and family to ensure his long-term health, it’s enabled him to pursue his passions and has shaped his outlook on life. CF is a disorder that causes damage to the lungs, digestive system, and other organs of the body. “Cystic Fibrosis can very easily get in the way of personal and professional plans. One lung infection can land you in the hospital for weeks,” he says. Boyd chose UCF for his undergraduate degree, not only to be near his doctors but due to the many options for digital media afforded to the students.
After earning his bachelor’s in game design at UCF, Boyd knew he needed to find a program that engaged with multiple facets of digital media and decided that the Digital Media MA was a perfect fit. “Getting to learn and create in so many different forms of digital media with so many talented individuals has been a great experience; to go from making a game to learning a new scripting language to building a physical computing project using Arduino all in the same program is what I have enjoyed the most during my time here,” he says.
While at UCF, Boyd had the opportunity to work on a research project titled Life/Ways which later was published in the Storytelling, Self, Society journal. Life/Ways is an interactive storytelling project involving college students. The focus of this project was to introduce students to the basics of digital and interactive story creation, as well as, using non-digital personal storytelling exercises to create personal interactive stories. Reflecting on his work on the project Boyd says, “We had students from many different backgrounds and what resulted was an exciting combination of their personal stories coming to life in an interactive medium.” He was able to assist in workshops in which students were learning basic programming and game design elements to their already written stories.
After graduation, Boyd plans on pursuing a PhD in digital media studies and eventually becoming a professor of digital media at a university. Being a graduate teaching assistant at UCF has helped grow his passion for teaching, where he can be in an academic environment with the opportunity to research and create experimental games. To his fellow Knights, Boyd encourages everyone to stay strong—by taking care of yourself and focusing on both mental and physical health you can get through anything.
- Published in Storytelling, Self, Society journal
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