Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt


Natasha Schüll

Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication; Director of Undergraduate Studies

Media, Culture, and Communication

Natasha Dow Schüll's first book, ADDICTION BY DESIGN: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas (Princeton University Press 2012), draws on extended research among compulsive gamblers and the designers of the slot machines they play to explore the relationship between technology design and the experience of addiction. Her next book, KEEPING TRACK: Sensor Technology, Self-Regulation, and the Data-Driven Life (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, under contract), concerns the rise of digital self-tracking technologies and the new modes of introspection and self-governance they engender. Her documentary film, BUFFET: All You Can Eat Las Vegas, has screened multiple times on PBS and appeared in numerous film festivals.

Schüll graduated Summa Cum Laude from UC Berkeley’s Department of Anthropology in 1993 and returned to receive her PhD in 2003. She held postdoctoral positions as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Columbia University’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy and as a fellow at NYU’s International Center for Advanced Studies. She joined MIT's Program in Science, Technology, and Society in 2007 and was awarded tenure in early 2015, before moving to NYU.

Schüll’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among other sources. Schüll’s research and op-eds have been featured in such national media venues as 60 minutes, The New York Times, The Economist, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Capital Gazette, Financial Times, Forbes, Boston Globe, Salon, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Daily Herald, Las Vegas Sun, 99% Invisible, NPR, WGBH, and WNYC.

Selected Publications


  • Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas. Princeton: Princeton University Press (2012)
  • Italian Translation: Ingegneria della dipendenza. Bologna:Sossella Editore (2016)
  • Keeping track: Sensor Technology, Self-Regulation, and the Data-Driven Life (Under contract with Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; manuscript due January 2016)

Refereed Articles

  • Abiding chance: The ascetics of online poker. Public Culture, forthcoming.
  • Gambled away: Video poker and self-suspension. Anthropology Now 4: 2 (2012): 1-13.
  • The touch-point collective: Crowd contouring on the casino floor. LIMN 2 (2012): 15-18.


Media, Culture, and Communication

Our media studies programs train agile researchers of a shifting media landscape. Learn to analyze media and technology in its cultural, social, and global contexts.