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Inventing the Future of Games 2011 has concluded. Stay tuned to our playableUCSC Vimeo channel in the coming weeks for video of the speakers and sessions. Photos can be seen on Flickr. Follow the UC Center for Games and Playable Media on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you all for a wonderful event!
Dr. Ian Bogost is an award-winning videogame designer and media philosopher. He is a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology (where he is also director of the Graduate Program in Digital Media) and Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC. His research and writing considers videogames as an expressive medium, and his creative practice focuses on political games and artgames. Bogost is author or co-author of seven books, including Unit Operations, of Persuasive Games, Racing the Beam, Newsgames, and the forthcoming How To Do Things with Videogames and Alien Phenomenology. Bogost's videogames cover topics as varied as airport security, disaffected workers, the petroleum industry, suburban errands, and tort reform. His games have been played by millions of people and exhibited internationally. His most recent game, A Slow Year, a collection of game poems for Atari, won the Vanguard and Virtuoso awards at the 2010 Indiecade Festival.
Chris Crawford, a former physics teacher, started as a game designer at Atari, where he created Energy Czar, Scram, Eastern Front (1941), Gossip, and Excalibur. Following the collapse of Atari in 1984, Crawford went freelance, creating the bestselling Balance of Power, along with other games. Crawford is the founder of the Computer Game Developers' Conference, now known as the Game Developers Conference, and the Journal of Computer Game Design. He has written five published books, including The Art of Computer Game Design. With science fiction writer Laura J. Mixon, Crawford is the founder of Storytron, a company devoted to the creation and publication of works of interactive storytelling.
Graeme Devine, CEO of GRL Games, is a veteran game developer with more than 30 years of success in game production across multiple platforms, technologies and major titles. Devine helped form Apple’s iPhone game strategy. His credits include lead designer/writer for HALO Wars for the XBox 360, programmer on Age of Empires III for PC, lead designer/programmer on 7th Guest and lead designer/programmer for Quake III. GRL Games’ recent releases include Full Deck Solitaire and Clandestiny for the iPad/iPhone.
Tracy Fullerton is a game designer, educator and writer. She is currently an associate professor in the Interactive Media Division of the USC School of Cinematics Arts and Director of the Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab. In December 2008, she was installed as the holder of the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair of Interactive Entertainment. Tracy is the author of Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Designing Innovative Games, a design textbook used at game programs worldwide. Recent credits include faculty advisor for the award-winning student games Cloud, and flOw; and game designer for The Night Journey, a unique game/art project with media artist Bill Viola. She is currently designing a game for the CPB's History and Civics initiative in partnership with KCET, Activision, the USC Game Innovation Lab, the Center for Civics Education and other key contributors. Fullerton's work has received numerous industry honors including an Emmy nomination for interactive television, best Family/Board Game from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, several New Media Invision awards, the Digital Coast Innovation Award, IBC's Nombre D'Or, Time Magazine's Best of the Web and the Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Power 100.
Chaim Gingold is a computer scientist and interactive designer by training. By trade, he is a computer game designer & digital toymaker. He studied with Janet Murray at Georgia Tech, where he earned an MS in Digital Media. A long term associate of and collaborator with Will Wright, Gingold was a key member of Spore’s prototyping & concept team, and designed the game’s award winning creative tool suite. He has published articles and spoken around the world on game design, prototyping, and play. Currently, he works as an independent game developer & design consultant in Berkeley, California.
Rod Humble is Chief Executive Officer at Linden Lab, and he leads the company’s strategy and the development of Second Life. Humble’s 20-year career in the game development industry has included work on more than 200 games. He joined Linden Lab from Electronic Arts, where, in his role as Executive Vice President, he led the EA Play label, which includes the best-selling PC game franchise of all time, The Sims. In 2009, he was ranked #2 on the annual list of the Hot 100 Game Developers from gaming publication Edge. Prior to his work at Electronic Arts, Humble served as Vice President of Product Development at Sony Online Entertainment for the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) EverQuest.
Robin Hunicke is a producer at thatgamecompany. A designer and computer scientist by training, Hunicke is a passionate advocate for bringing positive, new gaming experiences to the public. Her prior work includes family-friendly franchises like MySims and Steven Spielberg's BOOM BLOX for Nintendo Wii. She is an active organizer for the IGDA, LA's annual IndieCade festival, and the Experimental Gameplay Workshop @ GDC. In her "spare time" she's speaks publicly on game design and production, and is finishing a PhD in Artificial Intelligence at Northwestern University. She believes that by uniting academic, student and professional game development communities we can design & produce fresh, broadly-accessible ideas, create sustainable work practices and increase our industry's overall diversity.
Arnav Jhala is an assistant professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research interests lie at the intersection of artificial intelligence and digital media, particularly in the areas of computer games, cinematic communication, and narrative discourse. Arnav has developed computational models of film idioms and algorithms for automatically generating cinematic discourse. He heads the Computational Cinematics Studio at UC Santa Cruz. Jhala has interned at University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies where he was part of the Leaders project, applying Hollywood storytelling techniques to the design of story-based training applications with branching storylines. He also worked on the America's Army: Adaptive Thinking and Leadership game at Virtual Heroes, Inc., a leading serious games developer.
Michael Mateas is director of the Center for Games and Playable Media. He is an associate professor of Computer Science at University of California, Santa Cruz, where his work explores artificial intelligence-based art and entertainment, forging a new research discipline called Expressive AI. Mateas, who holds the MacArthur Endowed Chair, runs the Expressive Intelligence Studio with Noah Wardrip-Fruin. EIS, as it is known, is one of the largest technical game research groups in the world. With Andrew Stern, Mateas created Façade, an award-winning interactive drama that uses AI techniques to combine rich autonomous characters with interactive plot control, creating the world’s first, fully-produced, real-time, interactive story. Façade is available for free download at http://www.interactivestory.net/.
Author, screenwriter and video game designer Jordan Mechner is best known as the creator of the Prince of Persia franchise, with over 14 million games sold to date, and a feature film, books, toys and LEGO based on the games. Prince of Persia, released in May 2010, is the world’s highest-grossing video game adaptation ever. Mechner began his career as a video game creator in the 1980s with Karateka and Prince of Persia, two of the first games to combine arcade action with realistic animation and cinematic storytelling. Both bestselling titles are now considered classics. He spearheaded the critically acclaimed 1997 CD-ROM adventure game The Last Express, still considered one of the most ambitious and artistically successful interactive narratives ever attempted. In 2001, he helped revive the Prince of Persia series at Ubisoft with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Mechner also wrote and directed the documentary film Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story, which won the 2003 IDA award for Best Short Documentary. He posts about his various projects on his blog at http://jordanmechner.com.
Emily Short is a freelance writer and narrative design consultant with a special interest in interactive dialogue. Her recent clients include Failbetter Games, ngmoco, and ArenaNet. Emily is the author of over a dozen works of interactive fiction, including Galatea and Alabaster, which focus on conversation as the main form of interaction, and Mystery House Possessed, a commissioned project with dynamically-managed narrative. She is also part of the team behind Inform 7, a natural-language programming language for creating interactive fiction. She has spoken at the AI summit at GDC and presented on interactive storytelling at PAX East, MIT, and the University of Passo Fundo, Brazil.
Marilyn Walker is a professor of Computer Science and head of the Natural Language and Dialogue Systems Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her current research includes work on extending the language capabilities of interactive games, with a focus on training, assistive, and educational games. Before coming to Santa Cruz, Walker was a Professor of Computer Science at University of Sheffield. From 1996 to 2003, she was a Principal Member of Research Staff in the Speech and Information Processing Lab at AT&T Bell Labs and AT&T Research. While at AT&T, Walker worked on the AT&T Communicator project, where she developed a new architecture for spoken dialogue systems and statistical methods for dialogue management and generation. She has published more than 200 papers, and has 10 granted/pending U.S. patents.
Noah Wardrip-Fruin is an associate professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he co-directs the Expressive Intelligence Studio, one of the world's largest technical research groups focused on games. He also directs the Playable Media group in UCSC's Digital Arts and New Media program. Wardrip-Fruin's research areas include new models of storytelling in games, how games express ideas through play, and how games can help broaden understanding of the power of computation. He has authored or co-edited five books on games and digital media for the MIT Press, including The New Media Reader (2003), a book influential in the development of interdisciplinary digital media curricula. His most recent book, Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies was published by MIT in 2009.His collaborative playable media projects, including Screen and Talking Cure, have been presented by the Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Krannert Art Museum, Hammer Museum, and a wide variety of festivals and conferences.
Jim Whitehead is an associate professor and chair of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he helped create the Computer Game Design program. He is also the founder and board chair of the Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games, which hosts the yearly Foundations of Digital Games conference. Whitehead's research interests in the area of games include level design and procedural content generation. In the field of software engineering, Whitehead performs research on software bug prediction, software repository mining, and software evolution. He runs both the Augmented Design Lab and the Software Introspection Laboratory at UC Santa Cruz. As founder of the Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) Working Group, a broad coalition of industry and academia, Whitehead helped develop the WebDAV Distributed Authoring Protocol, extensions to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that support remote collaborative authoring.
Will Wright, the award-winning creator of Spore, The Sims and SimCity, is head of the entertainment think tank Stupid Fun Club. Wright, widely acknowledged for creating the simulation video game genre, rose to prominence with SimCity, the acclaimed, nonviolent, open-ended sim game. He created The Sims, the best selling PC game franchise of all time, available in 22 languages in 60 countries. Recent work includes the universe-building evolution game Spore and the user-generated TV show Bar Karma for Current TV. Rolling Stone named Wright "One of the 100 People who are Changing America (2009).” He received the first-ever Gamer God Award at the Spike Video Game Awards in 2008. In 2007, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts named Wright a fellow, marking the first time it recognized an individual in the computer game Industry. He also received the Producers Guild of America Vanguard Award that same year.