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Grace Ling

Game Developer & Freelance Artist

Intuitive Surgical

Combining Technology and Art: How I Taught Myself How To Make My Own Virtual Reality Game and Art Side Business as a College Student


Growing up, I’ve always wanted to become an anime artist, but my parents wanted me to do engineering and science instead. I came into college as a bioengineering major on the pre-med track as an aspiring neurosurgeon with an MD-PhD. One day, I decided to explore game development as an avid gamer. I followed YouTube tutorials to create my own biology-inspired virtual reality game called Cell-fie (pronounced “selfie”) where you can become a cell in VR (demo reel: The experience of creating Cell-fie inspired me to take on a career path of design, interactive media, and computer science as a first-year masters student. Throughout my presentation, I’ll also be showing some of my other art and projects that I’ve done that shaped my career path and passion for combining art and technology. These projects ultimately led me to create my own art side business - Candyleaf Designs.

Meet the Speaker:

Grace Ling is passionate about creating games and digital experiences that people enjoy while making a social impact. She is a recent graduate of Santa Clara University and studied Bioengineering and Computer Science/Engineering. She is currently a master's student in Computer Science/Engineering. Her passion project is a biology-inspired virtual reality role-playing game called Cell-fie that aims to gamify learning. Check out the demo reel here:

Outside of school, she is a Virtual Reality Robotic Game Developer Intern at Intuitive Surgical and a freelance artist. She has own art merchandise line to sell online and at anime conventions. She also has a passion for promoting healthy living through her blog, YouTube channel, and social media with a total following of over 35,000.

Her interests include game design and development, drawing, making food art, running, going to conventions, social media, traveling, and blogging.

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