Associate Professor Cross-Appointed

Karen Collins

Post Doc, Carleton
PhD, Liverpool
BA, Waterloo

Extension: 38326
Office: ECH 2112


Karen Collins is associate professor in the Department of Communication Arts and is cross-appointed to the Department of English Language and Literature. Her work focuses primarily on sound and music in interactive media, and explores how technologies impact our sonic experience. She has interest in areas of generative media, machine learning, artificial intelligence, games and film. She was recently named one of the “Top 50 Inspiring Women in Technology in Canada” by InspiringFifty, and she is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars. 

Selected publications


Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound (director, editor, writer)


The Beep Book: Documenting the History of Game Sound (Ehtonal Inc., 2016).

Co-editor, The Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio (Oxford, 2014).

Playing with Sound: A Theory of Interacting with Sound and Music in Video Games (MIT Press 2013).

A Bang, A Whimper and A Beat: Industrial Music and Dystopia (Mass Media Music Scholars’ Press 2012).

Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design (MIT, 2008).

Editor, From Pac Man to Pop Music: Interactive Audio in Games and New Media (Ashgate, 2008).

Current research

I am currently interested in generative and procedural media, along with artificial intelligence and machine learning as creative tools.

Areas of graduate supervision

  • Games
  • Sound
  • Digital media
  • Science fiction
University of Waterloo

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