Phill Alexander


This is what I'm good at
Go to Game Design & Writing for Games

Game Design & Writing for Games

You know those games you love playing? Someone wrote all that. From the narrative and plot to the character design and quests– even the manual (or tutorial). Want to learn how? Ask me. Take my class. Read my work. I also do extensive game design work, focusing not just on video games but also on tabletop and card games.

Go to Cultural Rhetorics & Identity

Cultural Rhetorics & Identity

From some work narrowly focused on Cherokee/Indigenous rhetoric to pieces that speak to all issues of race, gender and class, I’m trained in cultural rhetorics and critical race theory. I apply it across the board to all things I research and make. I also proudly embrace the “social justice warrior” label as I believe social justice matters.

Go to Digital Rhetoric & Design

Digital Rhetoric & Design

The world is increasingly leaning toward digital content, and while digital tech makes life easier, it’s not magic. I interrogate how it seems magical and how to leverage it. I’m an expert on digital identity and branding in digital space and have been innovating with online education since the 90s. I also teach design and design my own media.

Go to Pedagogy & Program Development

Pedagogy & Program Development

Trained teacher. Teacher trainer. Grassroots program organizer. From publications to student groups, from major initiatives to Varsity programs, I’ve done it, and I keep on doing it.

Dr. Phill

Phillip Michael Alexander, Ph.D. 2012 (Michigan State University)
Teacher. Researcher. Designer. Gamer. Writer.

A 15 year teaching veteran (check CV for details), Phill currently works as a Heanon Wilkins Fellow/Visiting Assistant Professor in the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies at Miami University in Oxford, OH. Phill holds degrees in creative writing, political science, composition and rhetoric and digital rhetoric and professional writing with a focus on cultural rhetorics.
Phill currently teaches classes in video game theory, writing for games, Esports, visual rhetoric and design, digital rhetoric, and digital identity. He's also the co-Director of the Miami University Varsity Esports Program.
A voracious reader and avid gamer, Phill also researches (and consumes, and sometimes creates) all manner of pop culture, from comics to movies to pro wrestling.

  • Fusing theory and praxis, Phill's primary research all stems in some ways from the central hub of digital rhetoric. From Cindy Selfe to Ian Bogost. From Lev Manovich to Lisa Nakamura. Phill is working to belong in that conversation.

  • Those who can do. Those who do also teach. A trained creative writer who slowed away from publishing to finish his studies, Phill now applies his craft training to writing for games while using his understanding of the rhetoric of the user/player/viewer as well as the primacy of narrative experience to guide game design for digital and tabletop games.

  • Phill looks at issues of visual representation and visual rhetorics, from mascots to making effective logos. He's also a teacher of visual rhetoric and design, having led classes in numerous client based projects.

  • Though not always embraced by other theorists of race and indigenous culture due to his unique hybrid stance (based on his mixed-blood heritage and upbringing), Phill is trained in critical race theory and has worked to pioneer numerous social justice/equity projects and workgroups. He currently focuses on representation and diversity in games/the games industry.

Things I Do

Just a small sampling

Miami Varsity Esports

Phill is the co-Director
It’s our first year, but we built the program from the ground up with the help of some of our amazing students. Here’s our site.

Video: Video Game Genres

From the Convention on College Composition and Communication, circa 2008.
Watch the video here.

Book Chapters

Because you know, publishing is cool.
I have a chapter in this and this.

What Students are Saying...

What students say with the protection of anonymity.

Blog Entries

Thoughts and Musings from Phill

Email Phill

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