Graduate Student Spotlight: Daniel Warmke

Sam Spinale
November 3, 2021

Daniel Warmke is no stranger to Ohio University and the many benefits that the School of Media Arts and Studies provides. He was born in Athens, Ohio, and continued living in Athens while he attended Ohio University to receive his bachelor’s degree in history. He returned to Ohio University a little while later to receive his master’s degree in media studies and is now a Ph.D. student in the School of Media Arts and Studies.

Along with being a student at Ohio University, he is also an instructor and will be teaching Game Development I in the spring. But aside from his work in the classroom, Warmke also has a large portfolio that includes a multitude of work and research.

“I have made and published paper and pencil role playing games in the past, like Dungeons and Dragons,” Warmke said. “That is also part of what I do research on, but mostly I do research on video games. My master’s degree was on complexity in games and now my dissertation is going to be on emergent game play, which is complex games coming from simple rules. I also do stuff with distributing our virtual reality systems (at the McClure School). I am part of the ALEI Project, the Appalachian Law Enforcement Initiative, which is producing virtual reality experiences to help train police on soft skills.”

Warmke credits a lot of his success within Ohio University to the McClure School.

“It has been really beneficial because it is great just to have a centralized place where a whole bunch of these ideas on games and other immersive experiences can just be cleared out,” he said. “It is so nice, especially before the pandemic, to have this area where there are always undergraduates sitting around talking about video games and all of the ideas bouncing around. It is beautiful to be able to throw (an idea) out there and ask someone to help create or design it and then I know that there is a network of people that are going to be able to work on it and find a way to bring it to life. I just really love the community.”

After graduation, Warmke plans to work for a AAA game studio, a major video game developer, and help out with the design process. He wants to work for a large studio and help with the big, hard problems inside a game. He wants to try and focus on how to solve the big intractable problems.

To students who want to follow in Warmke’s footsteps and pursue a degree in this field, Daniel says that going to Ohio University is your first step.

“Ohio University is a perfect place to (get your degree),” he said. “Being situated in media studies for the actual classes that I am taking is nice because it is so cross-disciplinary. You have a huge amount of room to take classes on storytelling and even within storytelling, you can take journalistic storytelling, literature storytelling, media studies storytelling, etc. It is very holistic, and you can pull in a whole lot of ideas and really customize it to what you want to study, as long as you are interested in how people send messages to other people.”