I was born in Boden in northern Sweden in 1969. I began my undergraduate studies at Umeå University in 1991. I was hired by the Department of Informatics in 1995 where I taught courses on technical and social aspects of information and communication technology. My research during this period focused on understanding social aspects of virtual worlds which led to my dissertation Virtual Worlds and Social Interaction Design which I defended in 2006.
In 2001, I moved to Malmö where I participated in starting up the Creative Environments research studio at Malmö University, and in 2006 I was hired as an associate professor. There, I taught courses in game design, game criticism, and interaction design. I also supervised students within these fields on bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level.
In 2012 I moved to Boston to join Comparative Media Studies at MIT and the MIT Game Lab as a Research Scientist. Here I am currently involved in developing a new research strategy for the lab, including models for external funding and collaboration with industry partners, as well as developing and teaching game studies and game design courses.
I conduct research at the intersection of game design and game culture. With a foundation in interaction design, I investigate how gaming activities fit into social and cultural practices, and how this knowledge can inform the design and development process.
I have nearly twenty years of experience in teaching, course development, research project management, establishing external funding and collaboration, as well as supervising graduate students. I have also reviewed video games for one of Sweden’s main morning newspapers for ten years.
email: mjson [at] mit [dot] edu
phone: +1 617 452 3218