Skip to main content

Jonathan Lessard, PhD

Associate Professor, Design and Computation Arts
Primary Investigator (LabLabLab)

Biography    Publications    Games   

Jonathan Lessard, PhD
Office: S-EV 6781  
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex,
1515 St. Catherine W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4717
Website(s): Portfolio

I was a game designer in a company, a long time ago. Then I was an indie game maker. Then I defended a doctorate on the design history of adventure games. Now I continue making games, studying them and teaching them as a university professor. I direct the LabLabLab, a research-creation lab exploring new avenues of game design, interactive storytelling and emergent narratives. I also research the history of games from a design perspective.
I like games


  • PhD Cinema Studies (Université de Montréal)
  • MA History (Université de Montréal)
  • BA Arts and Humanities (Université de Montréal)

Research interests

Game design; game history; interactive storytelling; emergent narratives, natural language interaction

Areas of expertise

Game design, history, and theory; Emergent narratives; 3D modelling and rendering; Interactive storytelling; Natural language interaction

Game Studies (the game)
Photo credit: Jonathan Lessard; Pippin Barr


Recent publications

Lessard, J., & Paré-Chouinard, S. (2022). Dramatic Situations for Emergent Narrative System Authorship. Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, Santa-Cruz

Lessard, J., & Beauchesne, A. (2022). Automatic Interactive Documentation for Emergent Story Discovery. Foundations of Digital Games. Athens.

Lessard, J. (2022). Natural Language Interaction for Games and Gamification. 7th International Conference on Gamification & Serious Games. Geneva.

Lessard, Jonathan (2022) . « Adventure  » in Perron, Bernard; Boudreau, Kelly; Wolf, Mark J.P.; Arsenault, Dominic (eds). Fifty Key Video Games. Routledge ..

Lessard, Jonathan ; Carl Therrien. « Indies de province : Deux développeurs de jeux indépendants dans le Québec d’avant Internet ». Loading 14, no 23 (2021).

Lessard, J., & Kybartas, Q. (2021). Blabbeur—An Accessible Text Generation Authoring System for Unity. Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, Tallinn.

Lessard, J. (2021). How Chess Became Hardcore:  A Short Game Design History. XXIII Board Game Studies Colloquium- The Evolutions of Board Games, Apr 2021, Paris, France.

Khaled, Rilla; Lessard, Jonathan; Barr, Pippin. « Documenting Trajectories in Design Space: a Methodology for Applied Game Design Research » (2nd best paper) In Foundations of Digital Games. Malmö, 2018.


LabLabLab Games

Research-oriented games made at the LabLabLab can be found here:

-Chroniqueur (wip)
-Jacques le Fataliste (2019)
-Hammurabi (2017)
-SimHamlet (2016)
-SimProphet (2015)
-A Tough Sell (2014)

Personal games

Sometimes I make games just for fun

- Chogue (2018)
- Game Studies (2016)
- Rogue Solitaire (2016)

Back to top

© Concordia University