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Jonathan Lessard

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

Biography    Publications    Games   

Jonathan Lessard

Game designer, professor, and researcher, holder of the Behaviour Interactive Research Chair in Game Design. I havebeen exploring the playful affordances of various technologies and concepts such as natural language processing and possible worlds theory for the past decade. My main research interests include emergent narratives, complex simulations, natural language interactions, and game design history.
J'aime jouer


  • 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)

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