Michael Iantorno

PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer

Hello! I’m a game scholar in Concordia University’s Communication PhD program whose research investigates videogame histories, industry labour, and intellectual property law.

My dissertation (ABD, Spring 2025) explores Super Nintendo preservation, reproduction, and hacking practices through a media archaeological lens. My research blends interviews, hands-on tinkering, and textual analysis to scrutinise informal videogame technologies and practices.

three scholars sit around a a table, speaking into microphones, during an interview for Arcade 11
Michael interviews game designer narF, with Mariko McDonald, at Arcade 11

In addition to my academic research, I also create digital and pen-and-paper games. My most well-known works are the videogame hack HyperBound and the Pathfinder rules document The Elephant in the Room, and I currently create TTRPGs as one half of Mammoth Island Games.

Recent Work

an excerpt from a larger book cover, featuring a painting of a dragon spewing fire on a hapless bearded warrior.Reflections on the OGL: An Interview with Ryan Dancey
Book chapter in Fifty Years of Dungeons & Dragons (2024)
An image featuring logos from CSN and Game Workers Unite Montreal, with the white text "unite" written under themGame changer: A labour group in Québec is pushing for a province-wide video game workers’ union
Feature article for The Conversation (2024)
an orange and yellow box for "Radio Shack Electronic TV Scoreboard"Unexceptional Consoles
Journal Article for Game Studies (2023)
a cartoon illustration of a person wearing a pink hoody with little devil hornsIf You Don’t Like the Game, Change the Rules: Alternative Modes of Videogame Production
White paper for Game Arts International Network (2023)
Background Checks: Disentangling Class, Race, and Gender in CRPG Character Creators
Journal article for Games & Culture (2023)
Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer