Barab, Sasha. Barab is known for work in designing learning environments and technology. His most widely known research project to date is Quest Atlantis, an educational game embodying many principals of situated learning and gaming design.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. He is best known for his theory on Flow, a “zone” many people enter where they become completely attuned/absorbed with their task, often performing at peak capabilities and losing a sense of time. I also enjoy his work on happiness and creativity.

Gee, James. Gee became widely known as a scholar of Discourse Analysis and related theories. He has written and edited several books on the subject. Over the past ten years he has become well known for his advocating of quality games as a situated learning spaces. He has written several theoretical articles and books on the subject.

Malone, Thomas. Malone’s early experiments in exploring what makes games fun are some of the most referenced works for supporting using the motivation to play games in conjunction with learning. Today, he is a leading scholar in business and its use of information technology at MIT.

Rheingold, Howard. Rheingold is a pioneer in researching social media and the interaction of people with technology. He coined the term virtual communities. He has opened up much of his teaching to others on his web site as well as providing an opensource module that can be used by others to teach social media. He has some posts at City Brights that focus on helping teach users about social media topics such as Mindful Infotention, Crap Detection, Twitter Literacy, and Attention Literacy.

Shaffer, David. Shaffer’s research area involves the use of “epistemic” games, games about learning to think in innovative ways, usually centered around a community of knowledge/practice model, for example focusing on how architects think and work. He is currently one of several leading researchers working at the University of Wisconsin.

Squire, Kurt. Squire is known for his research into commercial simulation games and the learning that these games afford. He is influenced by Gee and Barab’s work and also by Henry Jenkins’ work at MIT. He is currently conducting research at the University of Wisconsin.

Steinkuehler, Constance. Steinkuehler is known for her specific gaming research into MMOGs and the community practices surrounding them. She is another leading researcher working at the University of Wisconsin who has been influenced by Gee’s theories.

Williams, Dimitri. His research “focuses on the social and economic impacts of new media.” He is known both for his exploration of social capital online and into gaming communities.