Hi there, I’m Kelli.

If your curious and want to know more about me, you’re in the right spot. If you’re looking for my CV, you can find it here.

I am the Director of Mental Health Research and Design at the non-profit iThrive Games where I get to integrate my love for psychology, my passion for game design, and my lust for properly formatted, statistically significant research.

I study the way humans interact with games and how games can impact humanity. My first research project in this area was my undergraduate thesis wherein I hypothesized my university would buy me video games for a psychological study. They did; hypothesis confirmed.

I integrated my passion for video games into my doctoral studies and quickly became known as “you’re that person who likes games, right?” For my dissertation, I designed an experiment that combined psychological measures with gaming habits and concluded that no, playing video games does not turn people into mindless killing machines or sad, lonely misfits (which was the theory at the time!).

After graduating with my doctorate in clinical psychology, I applied for and was awarded a fellowship at American University to pursue a Masters in game design. I brought my psychological expertise into my classes and wove mental health concepts into my games. I developed skills in coding, game narrative and graphic design which all came together for my master’s capstone project – Ellie Beagle: Therapy Dog.


Ellie Beagle: Therapy Dog was featured at the 2017 Games for Change Civics Salon. I’m very proud of that.

Even more about me.

If you’re interested in my work, I’d love to talk with you. I present regularly at gaming conventions, such as PAX, as well as provide trainings and workshops for professionals.

Drop me a line anytime!