Frank Lee, PhD

Professor of Digital Media; Director, Entrepreneurial Game Studio

Lee is the co-founder of Drexel’s Game Design Program and founding director of the Drexel Entrepreneurial Game Studio. He and his students push the limits of creativity in gaming by developing web and mobile games that break down the traditional concepts of video game play. He has helped to elevate Drexel’s Game Design Program to one of the highest regarded programs of its kind in the country.

As part of Philly Tech Week 2013, Lee turned Brandywine Real Estate’s 29-story Cira Centre office building in Philadelphia into a giant game of arcade-style Pong. The hack was recognized as a Guinness World Record in the fall of 2013. Lee has commented on the giant game and the video game industry in stories that ran in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, ArsTechnica, Polygon and several other outlets. 

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In The News

Gaming and Esports Flourish in the University Sandbox of Creativity
Frank Lee, PhD, a professor in Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and director of the Entrepreneurial Game Studio, was quoted in a June 27 Forbes article about colleges and universities across the country developing esport teams and programs to develop the next generation, who will build and grow the gaming and esports industry.
Inside Drexel's Entrepreneurial Game Studio
Drexel's Entrepreneurial Game Studio in the ExCITe Center was featured on the Feb. 20 episode of NBC Sports Philadelphia's "FTW Philly." Frank Lee, PhD, a professor in Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and director of the Entrepreneurial Game Studio, was interviewed along with Chris McCole, a research programer at EGS, and alumnus Thomas Sharpe.
Theatre Exile’s Timely Play About Isolation and Gaming Culture Kicks off Its First Virtual Season
Frank Lee, PhD, a professor in Westphal College and director of the Entrepreneurial Game Studio in the ExCITe Center, was quoted in a Dec. 3 Technically Philly story about a new play, on which Lee consulted, about an aspiring game developer navigating the independent game industry.
When Speculative Technology Meets West Philly
Frank Lee, PhD, a professor in Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and director of the Entrepreneurial Game Studio in the ExCITe Center, was quoted in an Oct. 5 Generocity story about innovative technology helping West Philadelphia. Lee's SIM-PHL urban planning game was featured in the story.
Civil Dialogue: How Do We Talk To Each Other?
Civil Dialog, an interactive, digital art installation created by Frank Lee, PhD, a professor in Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and director of the Entrepreneurial Game Studio in the ExCITe Center, was featured in a Sept. 25 WHYY “Radio Times” episode about how to have conversations with people you disagree with.
This Drexel Prof Says Twitter Is Uncivil. So He’s Projecting Your Tweets on a Building
Civil Dialog, an interactive, architectural digital art installation on Nesbitt Hall this Thursday, designed by Frank Lee, PhD, a professor in Westphal College and the director of the Entrepreneurial Game Studio, was featured in a Sept. 21 Technically Philly story. The project is one of the featured events during Philly Tech Week.
What Would Philly Look Like If Urbanists Ran the City?
Harris Steinberg, executive director of the Lindy Institute of Urban Innovation and Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman, an adjunct professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, were quoted in a story in the September 2020 edition of Philadelphia magazine speculating on what the city would look like if it was run by urbanists. The piece mentions "SIM-PHL," an urban planning game created by Frank Lee, PhD, a professor in Westphal College and director of the Entrepreneurial Game Studio in the ExCITe Center.
This Art Project Will Use a 7-Story Building as a Sounding Board for Community Voices
“Civil Dialog,” a project led by Frank Lee, PhD, a professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and director of the Entrepreneurial Game Studio in the ExCITe Center, was featured in an Aug. 12 Technically Philly post. The project will turn Nesbitt Hall into an interactive public art installation and canvass for conversation this week.

Related Articles

Civil Dialog mockup Drexel Professor Wants to Help Us All Have a Big Talk

There’s a lot to talk about right now and social distancing hasn’t made it easy to get it all out. Drexel University Professor Frank Lee, PhD, who is known for visually appealing and nostalgic architectural art installations, is hoping to provide a forum for conversation with some assistance from a seven-story building in Philadelphia.

SIM-PHL game screen Entrepreneurial Game Studio to Launch SIM-PHL, an Urban Planning Simulator Game Powered by Philadelphia’s Open Data
In hopes of helping more people understand the political, economic and sociological forces that shape urban communities, game designers from Drexel University are turning Philadelphia’s open data into a SimCity-style urban planning game. With support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Open Data initiative, Drexel’s game, called Simulated Interactive Management of the City of Philadelphia (SIM-PHL), will be set in the city’s Mantua neighborhood, an area that is part of a national initiative to support and restore marginalized communities.
Cira tetris Video Games Created by Middle School Students to Be Played on LED Array of Cira Centre Skyscraper to Open New Park, Drexel Square
The creativity of local students will be on full display this summer as the 29-story LED array of Brandywine Realty Trust’s Cira Centre office building is once again converted into the world’s largest video game display. Students and teachers from K-12 schools across the Greater Philadelphia region have been working with experts in Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio to design and code new games for the building — those games will debut on the evening of June 10 as part of a celebration for the opening of the city’s newest green space, Drexel Square. The opening of Drexel Square park marks the first completed project of the Schuylkill Yards development, a 14-acre master-planned neighborhood in University City being developed by Brandywine Realty Trust on land owned by and in coordination with Drexel.
alchemy Drexel and Chemical Heritage Foundation Mix Artifacts With Mobile Gaming to Create History of Alchemy Experience
The Chemical Heritage Foundation wants to set the record straight about alchemy. The medieval practice, often perceived as a dark art or pseudoscience, actually helped form the process of scientific experimentation and influenced our modern understanding of chemistry and medicine. On its quest to shed light on alchemy, the Foundation, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, has enlisted help from Gossamer Games, a game design startup in Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio, and Frank Lee, PhD, director of the EGS, to create a mobile gaming experience about the “golden age of alchemy” using books, art and artifacts from CHF Museum’s alchemy collection.
health care Drexel and Coventry University to Host Workshop on Serious Games For Health Care
A gathering of international researchers, developers, professors, entrepreneurs and physicians will convene at Drexel University’s Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center at the end of March to have a discussion about video games and how they can help improve people’s health, aid the healing process and guide caregivers.
crowd looking up Drexel to Bring 'War of The Worlds' Interactive Art Experience to Philadelphia With Support From William Penn Foundation
“The War of the Worlds,” H.G. Wells’s classic work of science fiction literature has inspired the creation of feature films, radio dramas, comic books, music and even the rockets that put a man on the moon. Now the seminal tale of alien invasion is the vision guiding the development of a citywide interactive game and performance project in Philadelphia.
Tetris on Cira Centre Philadelphia Students to Design Skyscraper-Size Video Games
Starting this winter, more than 100 middle-school students from Philadelphia schools and community groups will try their hand at being video game designers, with an opportunity to play their games on one of the biggest screens imaginable: a 29-story building covered with LEDs. Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio is working with young game designers-in-the-making to come up with new games for Brandywine Realty Trust’s Cira Centre office building, an edifice that has twice played host to the largest architectural video game display in the world.
TechGirlz Drexel and TechGirlz to Create Online Game Design Class For Teens
“Our hope is that these workshops will empower and educate young women who are eager to learn and become interested in the game industry,” said Tracey Welson Rossman, founder of TechGirlz.