Josh Salyers Profile Portrait

Joshua Salyers

Assistant Professor
Email Address

Joshua Salyers is an Instructor of Game Development and Immersive Design in the Department of Art, Media, Performance, and Design. He earned his M.A. from East Tennessee State University and his Ph.D. in Latin American History from the University of Arizona.

He came to Pacific as part of an interdisciplinary project, The Digital Deltas Project, begun by the Department of History in collaboration with the School of Engineering and Computer Science. This interdisciplinary student-driven initiative to create public humanities projects using game and immersive technologies has resulted in students creating games, pedagogical programs, and museum exhibits that explore the history of the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta area.


BA – East Tennessee State University

MA – East Tennessee State University

PhD – University of Arizona

Teaching Interests

Teaching Philosophy: 

My teaching philosophy revolves around the principle that engaged learning occurs when students take ownership of their own work. I encourage my students explore the intersection of digital and interactive storytelling technologies and the humanities through project-based learning, which forces them to think critically about subject matter and make decisions about how to best tell the “story” of that subject. My digital humanities focus offers students an opportunity to learn new technical skills, engage with interesting humanities topics, and make meaningful decisions about how to present the histories of real people to public audiences. My courses focus on exploring games (both digital and analog) and immersive technologies (virtual and augmented reality) as storytelling and educational tools.



Virtual Reality and Immersive Design
Introduction to Game Design
Indie Game Development with Unreal Engine
Level Design
Historical Reconstruction
History of Interactive and Immersive Media
Project X
Think Tank: Stories of Stockton
Critical Media Making

Research Focus

Research Interests:

Digital Humanities
Serious Game Design
Video Game Design
Virtual Reality
Immersive Design
Historical Reconstruction
Cultural History
Public History
Mexican History
Digital Pedagogy



C. Adams*, D. Cliburn, J. Salyers, R. Shiraz*, A Qualitative Evaluation of Student Experience with a Virtual Heritage Application. Proceedings of the IEEE VR 5th Workshop on K-12+ Embodied Learning through Virtual and Augmented Reality, March 22, 2020, Atlanta, Georgia,

J. Salyers, D. Cliburn, K. Canniff*, S. Barajas*, Evaluation of Information Widgets for a Virtual Reality Serious Game. Proceedings of the IEEE VR 4th Workshop on K-12+ Embodied Learning through Virtual and Augmented Reality, March 23, 2019, Osaka, Japan.

S. Vu, D. Cliburn, J. Helgren, J. Salyers, K. Canniff*, A. Johnson*, M. Milliken*, T. Reardon, K. Sabbatino, A. Stephan*, Recreating Little Manila through a Virtual

Reality Serious Game. Proceedings of the 3rd Digital Heritage International Congress & Expo, Short Paper, October 26-30, 2018, San Francisco, California.

Salyers, J., Cliburn, D., Sparks, E., Culilap, J.*, Kuo, S., Sabbatino, K.*, Sanchez, R.*, Thomasson, D.*, Tvergyak, H.*, Little Manila: A Digital Recreation. Proceedings of the 15th EUROGRAPHICS Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage, Short Paper, September 27-29, 2017, Graz, Austria.

Salyers, Joshua. "Oscar Lewis, Urban Poverty, and The Children of Sánchez." In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History, 2017.

Salyers, Joshua. “Inequality: Mexico” In Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, 2nd Edition, Cengage Gale, 2013.

*Denotes University of the Pacific student coauthor