Ian Bogost is a video game designer, critic and researcher. He is an associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a founding partner at Persuasive Games. His research and writing consider video games as an expressive medium, and his creative practice focuses on games about social and political issues, including topics as varied as airport security, consumer debt, disaffected workers, the petroleum industry, suburban errands, pandemic flu and tort reform.
He is the author of “Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism,” listed among “50 Books for Everyone in the Game Industry;” “Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames;” and the co-author of “Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System.”
Dr. Bogost holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and comparative literature from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in comparative literature from UCLA. He lives in Atlanta.
Jay David Bolter
Jay David Bolter is the Wesley Chair of New Media at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the author of Remediation (1999), with Richard Grusin; and Windows and Mirrors (2003), with Diane Gromala. With Professor Blair MacIntyre and the AEL at Georgia Tech, he is helping to build Augmented Reality (AR) and mobile technology systems for games and to stage dramatic and narrative experiences for entertainment and informal education.
Brathwaite is a game designer and artist who began working in the video game industry with Sir-tech Software in 1982, with the seminal Wizardry series of role-playing games. She also contributed to the Jagged Alliance, Realms of Arkania, Def Jam and the Dungeons and Dragons series and has designed games for Atari, Infogrames, Electronic Arts and a wide variety of private clients.
Working completely in analog, she has crafted a series of six prototypes known collectively as The Mechanic is the Message, three of which have been completed and published. The three, Train, S√≠och√°n Leat and The New World, explore the Holocaust, the Cromwellian invasion of Ireland and the Middle Passage, respectively. The pieces, particularly Train, have received significant critical praise.
Brathwaite serves on the board of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), was chair of the IGDA’s Education SIG Ad hoc Committee and the co-founder and chair of the IGDA’s Savannah chapter. In 2008, she was named one of the top 20 most influential women in the game industry by Gamasutra.com. She is currently the chair of the interactive design and game development department at SCAD and has been working on games for social media platforms.
Jesper Juul is an influential theorist in the field of video game studies. He is currently a visiting professor at the New York University Game Center and has been a visiting scholar in comparative media studies at MIT. He holds a Ph.D. in video game theory from the Center for Computer Games Research in Copenhagen, where he held a position as an assistant professor until mid-2007.
Dr. Juul also has worked as a designer and programmer in video game and chat development, and participated in the Indie Game Jam. He has been working with the development of video game theory since the late 1990s. His more recent work deals with the fictional aspects of video games as well.
His book on video game theory, Half-Real: Video Games Between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds, was published by the MIT Press in 2005. The book was named by designer Ernest Adams as one of the “50 Books for Everyone in the Game Industry.” His recently published book, A Casual Revolution, examines how puzzle games, music games, and Nintendo Wii are bringing video games to a new audience. Juul maintains the blog, “The Ludologist,” on game research and other important things.
Dr. phil Christoph Klütsch studied Philosophy, Art History and German Literature in Freiburg, Hamburg, and Heidelberg (Germany). From 1999-2002 he worked as author, editor, and concepter for multimedia exhibitions and multimedia CD-ROM’s. He received his PhD in 2006 at the University Bremen, Germany with “Computer Graphic – Aesthetic experiments between two cultures” (Springer, Wien NewYork 2007). From 2004-2006 he worked as scientific coordinator for the interdisciplinary and international research project on Visual Hegemonies at the International University Bremen, Germany. Since 2007 he has worked as a Prof. of Art History at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). His research specializes on the connection between digital art and aesthetic theory.
Frank Lantz is creative director and co-founder of Area/Code, a New York-based developer that creates cross-media, location-based, and social network games. He has worked in the field of game development for the past 20 years. Before starting Area/Code, Lantz worked on a wide variety of games as the director of game design at Gamelab, lead game designer at Pop & Co. and creative director at R/GA Interactive.
Over the past eight years, he helped pioneer the genre of large-scale, real-world games, as one of the creators of the Big Urban Game, which turned the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul into the world’s largest board game; ConQwest, which featured the first major application of semacodes in the United States; PacManhattan, a life-size version of the arcade classic created by the students in his Big Games class at NYU, and many other experiments in pervasive and urban gaming.
For over 12 years, Frank has taught game design at NYU in the interactive telecommunications program and at the School of Visual Arts and Parsons School of Design. He is currently director of the NYU Game Center. His writings on games, technology and culture have appeared in a variety of publications.
Lowood is curator for the history of science and technology collections and film and media collections at Stanford University. Lowood earned a Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. Over a period of more than twenty years, he has combined interests in history, technological innovation and the history of digital games and simulations to head several long-term projects at Stanford, including How They Got Game: The History and Culture of Interactive Simulations and Videogames in the Stanford Humanities Lab, the Silicon Valley Archives in the Stanford University Libraries and the Machinima Archives and Archiving Virtual Worlds collections hosted by the Internet Archive.
Dr. Lowood is leading Stanford’s work on game and virtual world preservation in the Preserving Virtual Worlds project funded by the U.S. Library of Congress. He is also the author of numerous articles and essays on the history of Silicon Valley and the development of digital game technology and culture. With Michael Nitsche, he is currently co-editing The Machinima Reader for MIT Press and has just completed guest editing a volume of IEEE Annals of the History of Computing on the history of computers and games.
Michael Nitsche is a digital media scholar and assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His work deals with the various forms of space in video games, machinima, and digital performance. In 2007, he founded Digital World & Image Group to research the interconnections of physical and digital spaces. His work investigates the social spaces of the play space as well as their connection to a virtual polygon world and cinematic image.
Nitsche’s book “Video Game Spaces; Image, Play, and Structure in 3D Worlds” was published by MIT Press in 2009. Together with Henry Lowood, he is co-editing “The Machinima Reader.”
He holds an M.A. in drama and German language from Freie University Berlin, Germany, and an M.Phil. in architecture and the moving image as well as a Ph.D. in architecture from the University of Cambridge, UK.
Paul is the director of the media studies graduate programs and associate professor of media studies at The New School (N.Y.) and adjunct curator of new media arts the Whitney Museum of American Art. She has written extensively on new media arts and lectured internationally on art and technology.
An expanded new edition of her book Digital Art (Thames & Hudson, UK, 2003), as well as her edited anthology New Media in the White Cube and Beyond – Curatorial Models for Digital Art (UC Press) were published in 2008. At the Whitney Museum, she is responsible for artport, the museum’s online portal to Internet art and curated the shows “Profiling” (2007), “Data Dynamics” (2001), and the net art selection for the 2002 Whitney Biennial.
Dr. Paul has previously taught in the M.F.A. computer arts program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Digital+Media Department at the Rhode Island School of Design, San Francisco Art Institute and the Center of New Media at the University of California at Berkeley.
Celia Pearce is a game designer, author, researcher, teacher, curator and artist, specializing in multiplayer gaming and virtual worlds, independent, art, and alternative game genres, as well as games and gender. She began designing interactive attractions and exhibitions in 1983, and has held academic appointments since 1998. Her game designs include the award-winning virtual reality attraction Virtual Adventures (for Iwerks and Evans & Sutherland) and the Purple Moon Friendship Adventure Cards for Girls. She received her Ph.D. in 2006 from SMARTLab Centre, then at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London. She currently is Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture at Georgia Tech, where she also directs the Experimental Game Lab and the Emergent Game Group. She is the author or co-author of numerous papers and book chapters, as well as The Interactive Book (Macmillan 1997) and Communities of Play: Emergent Cultures in Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds (MIT 2009). She has also curated new media, virtual reality, and game exhibitions and is currently Festival Chair for IndieCade, an international independent games festival and showcase series. She is a co-founder of the Ludica women’s game collective.
Nathalie Pozzi & Eric Zimmerman
Nathalie Pozzi is an architect whose projects cross the boundaries of art installation, architecture and landscape. Trained in Venice, Stockholm and Helsinki, Ms. Pozzi explores the classical design of space and light and the elegant use of materials, while also incorporating social and ethnographic elements into her work. Her projects expand the possibilities of architecture from building beautiful structures into a global and cultural act. Ms. Pozzi’s work includes contributions to the conceptual architectural studio Casagrande&Rintala, in projects like “Bird Cage” at Yokohama Triennale of Art and “Installation 2001” at the Florence International Bienniale of Contemporary Art. Recent projects range from the short film “Home”, presented at the 4th International Festival for Architecture in Video in Florence, to design and production consulting for internationally renowned artists including Mariko Mori and theater director Robert Wilson.
Eric Zimmerman is a game designer, entrepreneur, author, and academic who has been working in the game industry for 15 years. His diverse activities have made him one of the New York Observer’s “Power Punks,” one of Interview magazine’s “30 To Watch,” one of International Design magazine’s “ID 40” influential designers and one of The Hollywood Reporter’s “Digital 50,” along with Stephen Spielberg and Will Wright. Zimmerman recently was honored with a VIP Award by the International Game Developers Association for his years of work in the game creation community.
He is an internationally recognized creative force, design scholar, and gadfly pundit on game design and game culture. For nine years, Zimmerman was the co-founder of Gamelab, a game development company based in New York City. Gamelab has won awards from the Independent Games Festival, Games for Change, ID Magazine, Art Directors Club and ARS Electronica.
Zimmerman lectures and publishes extensively on games and has taught courses in MIT’s comparative media studies program, New York University’s interactive telecommunications program, Parsons School of Design’s M.F.A. program in digital technologies program, and the School of Visual Arts’ Design as Author M.F.A. Program. He has exhibited game artworks at museums and galleries in the U.S. and abroad.
Jason Rohrer is an independent game artist, programmer, and critic. With game designs that explore complex and subtle aspects of the human condition, his work has bolstered the acceptance of games as a serious art form. Rohrer’s games have been shown at festivals and art exhibitions in Park City, Toronto, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Seattle and Lleida, Spain. His 2007 release, Passage, received widespread critical acclaim.
Wired magazine’s Clive Thompson wrote: “More than any game I’ve ever played, it illustrates how a game can be a fantastically expressive, artistic vehicle for exploring the human condition.” Rohrer’s 2008 release, Gravitation, won the Jury Prize at IndieCade and Between won the Innovation Award at the 2009 Independent Games Festival. Rohrer was featured in Esquire’s December 2008 “Genius Issue” along with 27 other innovators.
John Romero is a game designer, programmer, artist and sequential artist whose work spans over 130 games, 97 of which have been published commercially, including the iconic works Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake. His contributions and philanthropy within the commercial game industry have led to a myriad of inspired games and the founding of 10 companies.
Romero’s design innovations include intuitive and immersive 3-D-level design, game balance and overall progression for both single-player and multi-player. He pioneered the first-person shooter genre and his works remain the seminal texts for those practicing game-level design. He was also instrumental in the promoting of cybersports from LAN parties to DWANGO to the Cyberathlete Professional League.
One of the earliest “indie” developers, Romero began working in the game space in 1979 on mainframes before moving to the Apple II in 1981. He is a completely self-taught artist, having drawn his inspirations from early Apple II programmers, including the likes of Nasir Gebelli, Richard Garriott, Bill Budge and Tony Suzuki.
Romero’s current areas of interest are massively multi-player online (MMO) games as well as social media and its intersection with gaming. He is presently a co-founder and executive vice president of Gazillion Entertainment, where he has 6 MMOs in production. Romero also remains active in the artgame, game history and indie space.
Brian Schrank is a videogame artist and PhD candidate at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His theoretical research maps how art history, especially the 20th century avant-garde, can inform our understanding of videogames as a social and artistic medium. His practical research “affordance mines” or explores the limits of what videogame technologies and players alike are capable of doing. He currently works in the Augmented Environments Lab where he prototypes augmented reality games for Cartoon Network and Motorola. He holds a B.F.A. from the Atlanta College of Art (now assimilated into SCAD) and a Masters of Entertainment Technology from the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University.
John Sharp is an accomplished game designer, art historian and educator with over 20 years experience. His design work is focused on Twitter and social platform games, art games and non-digital games. His current research is focused on game design curricula for after-school programs, the history of play and the early history of computer and video games.
Dr. Sharp is a professor in the interactive design and game development and art history departments at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He also is a member of Local No. 12, a social network game collaboration; a member of The Leisure Society, an artgame collective; and a partner in Supercosm, a digital media consultancy.
Tale of Tales
Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn began their collaboration as Entropy8Zuper.org in 1999. They gained notoriety by creating Web sites and Internet artworks. In 2002, they founded the independent game development studio Tale of Tales in Gent, Belgium, where they still live and work.
Harvey and Samyn have devoted their lives to the creation of elegant and emotionally rich interactive entertainment. Early Internet artworks blended topics of love, religion, politics and sex along with ambitious web-based performance. Since their shift to games, Tale of Tales have given players and critics much to talk about. Projects like The Endless Forest, a multiplayer screensaver in which everyone plays a deer. And smaller projects such as The Graveyard, about an elderly lady who visits a cemetery. And Fatale, which explores the legend of Salome. 2009 saw the release of their most ambitious game yet, The Path, a short horror game inspired by Little Red Riding Hood.
In 2000, their work was awarded with the San Francisco MOMA Prize for Excellence in Online Art. Both The Path and The Graveyard were finalists in the Independent Games Festival and Indiecade. Their projects have been featured at media art festivals and exhibitions all over the world. But the focus remains on digital distribution, making art directly for and with their audience. Quiet and odd or deeply unsettling, what sets Tale of Tale’s work apart from the rest is Harvey and Samyn’s controversial stance on what games can be.