Part-time Instructor of Game Development

Department(s) or Program(s)


Eric Stein (he/him) is a Game Development Instructor at Trinity Western University. A graduate of the English Honours BA program at Simon Fraser University and the Interdisciplinary Humanities MA program at Trinity Western University, his research bridges literature and gaming, applying phenomenological, hermeneutic, and deconstructive methods in the interpretation of interactive texts like FromSoftware’s Dark Souls video games and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us video games. He is also a practicing game designer, primarily working in the independent tabletop roleplaying space. His design work deploys philosophical, political, and theological concepts in gamic form, bringing together theory and play for social, story-driven tabletop role-playing sessions. His first full-length, commercial game product—Lost Scriptures, a tabletop role-playing zine of story, theory, and faith—was successfully funded on Kickstarter in March 2020. He lives with his partner on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Stó:lō Nation.

Research & Scholarship

  • “It Can’t Be For Nothing: Communicating Intentions for Play Through Trophy Design in The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II,” TWU Research and Creativity Symposium, Trinity Western University, Langley, BC, August 28, 2020,
  • “Pure Vessels: The Insect and the Other in Dark Souls and Hollow Knight,” Insect Entanglements, Centre for Environmental Humanities, University of Bristol, Online, June 19, 2020,
  • “Praise the Sun: The Metaphysics of Dark Souls from the First Flame to the End of Fire,” Canadian Game Studies Association Conference, Congress of the Humanities, Western University, London, ON, June 3, 2020,
  • “The Fire Fades: Navigating the End of the World in FromSoftware’s Dark Souls,” International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL, March 19, 2020,
  • “Tactile Thematics: From Power to Skill in FromSoftware’s Souls Games,” Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Annual Conference, Albuquerque, NM, February 19, 2020,
  • “Bodies in Form: Motricity Across Mediums in The Last of Us and The Last of Us: American Dreams,” ImageText in Motion: Animation and Comics, Graduate Comics Organization, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, April 13, 2019,
  • “The Torqued Horizon: Preliminary Notes on the Hypersurface of the Real,” Radical Resistance: Dissent and Boundary Crossing in the Humanities, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, April 6, 2019,
  • “Thoreau’s Cabin: An Economy of Space, Sociality, and the Commons,” Free-Exchange Graduate Conference, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, March 9, 2019,
  • “Narratives of Blood: Justice, Empire, and Billy Budd, Sailor,” International Society for the Study of Narrative Annual Conference, Lexington, KY, March 23, 2017,


  • MA Interdisciplinary Humanities, Trinity Western University, 2018
  • BA Honours English with Distinction, Simon Fraser University, 2016
  • Certificate in Creative Writing, Simon Fraser University, 2016

Awards & Honors

  • Humanities Award, Trinity Western University, 2018
  • Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement, SSHRC, 2017
  • Canada Graduate Scholarship - Master's, SSHRC, 2016
  • Capi Blanchet Scholarship in Fiction, Simon Fraser University, 2015
  • Philippa Polson Memorial Prize in English, Simon Fraser University, 2015

Affiliations & Memberships

  • Canadian Game Studies Association
  • Electronic Literature Organization
  • International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts


  • Game studies
  • Interactive storytelling
  • Narrative design
  • Phenomenology
  • Deconstruction

Courses Taught

  • GAME 390 Game Development Project II
  • GAME 341 Interactive Storytelling
  • GAME 240 Game Design for Video Games
  • GAME 140 Introduction to Game Design
  • FNDN 201 Ideas that Inspire