Presentations &

Will Wright

Is co-founder of Maxis and the original designer of the two groundbreaking and best-selling computer games SimCity and The Sims. Wright has recently introduced SimCity 4, which brought the classic concept to new levels of detail in graphics and gameplay; the Sims 2 which includes more detailed characters  and houses and a built-in machina utility; and the highly-anticipated Spore in which the action moves from the emergence of cellular life forms to the growth of interplanetary civilizations. Wright has been named one of the 100 most creative people in entertainment by Entertainment Weekly and one of the 50 most important people in technology by Time. In 2005 he received Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Progress and Service.

Dale Herigstad

Is Creative Director of  Schematic with 25 years experience as a graphic designer in television and over a decade of experience in interactive television and broadband environments. Herigstad won three Emmys for his design direction on the CBS Winter Olympics broadcasts (Albertville 92, Lillehammer 94, and Nagano 98). His user interface experience bridges Enhanced and Interactive TV, the Internet, and broadband networks, as well as emerging wireless media. Herigstad designed the interface for Time Warner's groundbreaking Full Service Network in Orlando , developed innovative spatial navigation interfaces for Sony, and enhanced TV applications for CSI, Survivor Africa, and Turner Classic Movies. He regularly speaks at Promax/BDA, Siggraph, and  CHI. He has been active for many years with the AFI Enhanced TV Workshop. Mr. Herigstad has taught design, information architecture, and animation at the California Institute of the Arts, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and UCLA. He served on the board of the Broadcast Designers Association, and is currently on the board of the Interactive Television Alliance. Information about his work can be viewed at:

Mary Flanagan
Hunter College. New York

Is a Professor in Film and Media at Hunter College in New York City. She holds an MFA and MA from the University of Iowa, and she holds a PhD in Computational Media from the University of the Arts, London. In the 1990s, Dr. Flanagan was a producer/designer at Human Code, an Austin based software developer, garnering over 20 international awards for titles produced for The Discovery Channel, Creative Wonders/ABC, and Knowledge Adventure. Flanagan's artwork, which is created for the net or for installation, has been shown internationally at venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art 2002 Biennial, SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, Whitney Museum of American Art's Artport, the Moving Image Centre in Auckland, Central Fine Arts Gallery, New York, the Guggenheim, University of Arizona, University of Colorado Boulder, New York Hall of Science, and galleries/events in Spain, the UK, Norway, Japan, Denmark, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, France, Italy, Slovenia, and the US. Her projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Pacific Cultural Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Flanagan's essays on digital art, cyberculture, and gaming have appeared in periodicals such as Art Journal, Wide Angle, Convergence, and Culture Machine, as well as several books. Her co-edited collection Reload: Rethinking Women + Cyberculture was published by MIT Press in 2002, and reskin is due in 2006. Her work can be viewed at:

Bill Gaver
Goldsmiths College, London

Is Professor of Design at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. He gained his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology for work on everyday listening, which he applied in the form of auditory icons for Apple and Xerox EuroPARC. He later became interested in broader issues concerning mediated social behavior, helping develop EuroPARC's Mediaspace, an audio/video communications network, and developing experimental systems that support social activities over a distance. Before his recent move to Goldsmith’s, he was a Professor of Interaction Research at the Royal College of Art, exploring the use of technologies to make aesthetic, social, and cultural interventions, supervising projects sponsored by Intel and France Telecom, and serving as a Principle Investigator on the  Equator Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration. His work can be viewed at:

Juan Pablo Gnecco

Is founder & CEO of Studiocom, a multinational interactive agency, whose clients include Coca Cola, Miller, Turner and Fox Gnecco was the chief creative architect behind CokeMusic.com, which, with more than 8 million registered users has become Coca-Cola's main platform for youth marketing. Prior to founding Studiocom, Gnecco served as the first creative director at iXL. Before his move into the interactive industry, he founded and ran a multimedia design firm and an advertising photography studio in his native Colombia. In addition to his professional ventures, Gnecco founded and continues to serve as Vice President of Colombianitos, a charity dedicated to improving living conditions for underprivileged children in Colombia. He has been the recipient of The Volvo for Life Awards and, HRH Queen of Sweden's Mentor Award for his work with Colombianitos, and he was recently named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle Up & Comers, 40 Under 40 list.

Matt Hullum
Rooster Teeth

Has worked as a visual effects producer and supervisor on such films as Clifford’s Really Big Movie (2004) and The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie (2004). He is a co-founder of the innovative Rooster Teeth Productions, pioneers of the new entertainment genre of machinima which uses game engines as a filmmaking environment. Hullum works on Rooster Teeth’s very popular  online episodic series:  Red vs. Blue and The Strangerhood.

Chris Klaus

Is founder and chief security advisor of Internet Security Systems, Inc. (ISS), a leading global provider of information protection solutions that secure IT infrastructure and defend key online assets from attack and misuse. Klaus founded Internet Security Systems in 1994 to help corporations and organizations around the world safeguard their critical data from the ever-growing number of network security vulnerabilities and threats. Klaus started the company in his dorm room at Georgia Tech, and in 2000 at the age of 26, Klaus donated $15 million to Georgia Tech for a new advanced computing building. In 2004, Klaus co-founded Kaneva, a true digital entertainment marketplace where people can watch, play, create and self-publish films and games. Klaus, along with Greg Frame, set out to develop a functionally-rich, user-driven web site as well as complete technology platform for giving filmmakers and game creators a new way to self-publish and directly distribute their work. His work can be viewed at:
and www.iss.net

Raph Koster

Is Chief Creative Officer at Sony Online Entertainment where he builds massively multiplayer online worlds, including Star Wars Galaxies, an online version of the Star Wars universe.  Previously he worked at Origin Systems, where he was lead designer on the highly successful Ultima Online,  the game that pioneered the category of  the online persistent world gaming. Mr. Koster now works for Verant, which is part of Sony Online Entertainment. Koster is the author of  A Theory of Fun for Game Design (2004). Koster writes and speaks frequently on online game and community issues

Karen Lennon
Beyond Z Interactive Media

Is CEO and Founder of Beyond Z Interactive Media with over 17 years of experience in diverse media, marketing, and business development initiatives including development of design, content and business strategies for interactive/advanced media platforms. Karen formed Beyond Z in April of 2000 and built the company to a leadership position in interactive television and cross-platform production services including User Interface, Information Architecture, and Application Development with an emphasis on gaming interactions. The company recently received the first Primetime Emmy ever awarded for technical excellence in Interactive Television for its work on the enhanced television production of Band of Brothers with HBO. Karen has taken her knowledge of next generation media and is developing branded entertainment strategies that leverage consumer trends in connected media devices. She has work with many blue-chip television and technology brands including HBO, The Scripps Networks, Worldspan, The Weather Channel, PBS, Metabyte, Starcom, and more.

Marcus Matthews
Blue Heat Games

Is the CEO and co-founder of Blue Heat Games and has a wealth of quality game development experience. Marcus was Senior Producer at Sega of America, and in that role, Marcus headed Sega Sports and was responsible for developing all sports games for the launch of Dreamcast, which included NFL 2K and NBA 2K. The games produced by Marcus have sold over 1.5 million units worldwide to date. Before joining Sega in 1996, Marcus worked the interactive arena at IBM's Multimedia Publishing Studio and Turner Broadcasting's games group and produced products involving Turner entities such as Castle Rock, New Line Cinema, and Hanna Barbera. Before starting Blue Heat, Marcus was also a consultant for Venture-Atlantic, a private equity firm that advised early stage startup technology firms. Marcus received a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1992.

Celia Pearce
University of Califonia, Irvine

Pearce is game designer, artist, researcher, teacher and author of The Interactive Book: A Guide to the Interactive Revolution (Macmillan, 1997), and other writings on game design and culture. Since 1998 she has worked at a researcher and teacher at the University of Southern California and the University California Irvine. Prior that, she primarily designed interactive attractions for the museum and theme park industry. She co-curated ALT+CTRL: Festival of Independent and Alternative Games for the Beall Center for Art & Technology at UC Irvine, as well as other media art exhibitions. She is also co-founder of Ludica, a women's game art collective.

Jane Prophet
University of Westminster, London

Is Professor of Visual Art and New Media and Co-Director of the Centre for Arts Research, Technology and Education at the University of Westminster, London. She completed her MA in Electronic Graphics in 1989 (Coventry University) and a PhD in Arts Education in 1995 (Warwick University). Her work includes large-scale installations, digital prints and objects. Prophet’s art reflects her interest in science, technology, and landscape. Among her past projects is the award-winning website, TechnoSphere, inspired by complexity theory, landscape, and artificial life. Site-specific projects include Conductor (the inaugural installation at The Wapping Project), Decoy, and The Landscape Room, which combine photographs with computer simulated landscapes. Dr. Prophet works across disciplines on a number of internationally acclaimed projects that have broken new ground in art, technology, and science. She has recently been awarded a NESTA Dream Time Fellowship to spend a year developing her interdisciplinary collaborations. Her work can be viewed at:

Katie Salen
Parsons School of Design, New School University

Is a game designer and a Professor and Director of the graduate Design and Technology program at Parsons School of Design. As a game designer her  clients include Microsoft, SIGGRAPH, the Hewlett Foundation, XMediaLab, the Design Institute, gameLab, and mememe Productions.  Salen is co-author (with Eric Zimmerman) of Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (MIT Press 2004), as well as the forthcoming Rules of Play Reader (MIT Press 2005), she is also a member of Playground, a design team focused on large-scale, experimental, real-world games and a former core-team member of gameLab. Katie recently partnered with screenwriter and director Hampton Fancher (Minus Man; Bladerunner) on a project for the XEN division of Microsoft to develop an animated storytelling experience distributed through Xbox Live, and has helped curate programs at the Lincoln Center, Cinematexas, ZKM, Exploding Cinema, and the Walker Art Center on machinima, the practice of creating animated films using game engines. She has lectured and published extensively on game design and game culture both nationally and internationally. Her work can be viewed at:

Rick Sanchez
Gametap, Turner Broadcasting System

Rick Sanchez is the vice president of content for GameTap. He is charged with overseeing and implementing the content strategy and acquisition management of games for GameTap, which was launched to consumers last October. Sanchez’s oversight of the GameTap user experience includes licensing games for the network, determining timing and strategy for new games releases, managing the asset inventory, overseeing the production of text-based editorial content and directing the production of video-based content. Most recently, Sanchez served as vice president of publishing at IGN Entertainment, Inc. Previously, Sanchez developed interactive content for Ultra Game Players and Next Generation magazines at Imagine Media. He was also a producer for the Freedom Forum’s Newseum, developing interactive and video-based exhibits for the world’s first interactive museum of news, which opened in Arlington, Va., in 1997. Sanchez’s background also includes stints in television news as a videographer and editor. Sanchez holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from Boise State University and a master of arts, film and video from The American University.

Carl Schnurr

Carl Schnurr joined Activision in 2005 as the Senior Director of Game Design. He produced and designed two award-winning tactical shooters, Rainbow Six and Rogue Spear before moving to Microsoft in 2000 to work on Xbox titles. While at Microsoft he contributed as producer or designer to Amped and Amped 2, while overseeing the design of Top Spin Tennis and Links Golf as a Design Director. He has a PhD in physics from Duke University. Prior to joining the games industry he designed shuttle astronaut protocols, delivered singing telegrams, and freelanced for White Wolf.

Johnny L. Wilson
Manifesto Games

Is the Executive Vice-President for Content and  Community for Manifesto Games, a full-service website to be launched  in March, 2006 for reviews, strategies, community, downloads and  playing aids to be oriented toward the niche market of adventure,  strategy, simulation and war games--games which have been largely  locked out of the retail chains. Wilson is the co-author of High  Score: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games (now in its second  edition from Osborne-McGraw Hill), has served on the Board of  Directors for Turbine Entertainment Software, has lectured on game  design for the Republic of China, and served as reviewer, editor and  publisher for several magazines in the game space over the course of  two decades. His most recent book is set in the Dungeons & Dragons:  Eberron setting and is entitled The Death Beyond.

Ian Bogost
School of Literature Communication and Culture, Georgia Tech

Is an Assistant  Professor of Literature Communication and Culture at Georgia Tech, where his research interests include  videogame criticism and videogame rhetoric. Bogost is especially  interested in the function of ideology, politics, advertising, and  education in games. He is the author of Unit Operations: An Approach  to Videogame Criticism (MIT Press 2006) and Persuasive Games:  Videogames and Procedural Rhetoric (forthcoming from MIT Press). In  addition to writing and speaking, his experimental games have been  exhibited internationally. Ian is also the founder of two companies,   Persuasive Games, a game studio that designs,  builds,  and  distributes electronic games for persuasion,  instruction,  and  activism and Open Texture,  a publisher of cross-media education and  enrichment materials for families. He has over a decade of experience  in digital media production for film,  music,  games,  advertising,   and eBusiness. Ian holds a BA in Comparative Literature and Philosophy from the University of Southern California,  and an MA and  Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UCLA.

Jay Bolter
School of Literature Communication and Culture, Georgia Tech

Is Co-Director of the Wesley Center for New Media Research and Education, holds the Wesley Chair in New Media in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at Georgia Tech. His research interests include augmented reality and dramatic Experiences; digital art and design; and media theory. With Professors Blair MacIntyre and Maribeth Gandy, Bolter is creating a design environment called DART and using that environment to foster the creation of informal education, artistic expression and entertainment. He is co-author, with Diane Gromala, of Windows and Mirrors, (MIT Press, 2003), which explores the significance of digital art for the digital design community at large.As a media theorist,  Bolter studies how new (digital) media affect and are affected by earlier media and media forms, including film, television, and print. Information about his work can be viewed at:

Irfan Essa
College of Computing, Georgia Tech

Is an Associate Professor in the Interface Computing Division of the College of Computing, and Adjunct Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. He works in the areas of Computer Vision, Computer Graphics, Computational Perception, and Computer Animation, with potential impact on Video Analysis and Production, Human Computer Interaction, and Artificial Intelligence research. Specifically, he is interested in the analysis, interpretation, authoring, and synthesis (of video), with the goals of building aware environments, recognizing, modeling human activities, and behaviors, and developing dynamic and generative representations of time-varying streams (mostly video). He teaches classes in the areas of computer vision, perception, animation, and digital video special effects. At Georgia Tech, Dr. Essa is affiliated with the Aware Home Research Initiative, and the Intelligent Systems Group in the College of Computing.  He founded the Computational Perception Laboratory at Georgia Tech, which he now co-directs with 4 other faculty members. Dr. Essa has also started an effort on Digital Video Special Effects. In addition, he is affiliated with the CERCS and the Broadband Institute at Georgia Tech.  He helped establish a new BS in Computational Media Degree at Georgia Tech and is affiliated with the new PhD program in Human Centered Computing (HCC) and involved with the new Initiatives in Robotics at GA Tech. He joined the Georgia Tech Faculty in 1996 after his doctoral research and a research position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Media Lab). Information about his work can be viewed at:

Michael Mateas
School of Literature Communication and Culture and
College of Computing, Georgia Tech

He develops Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based art and entertainment (Expressive AI). The fundamental research question Dr. Mateas explores in expressive AI involves resolving the tension between autonomy on the part of the AI system and human authorship. Dr. Mateas builds AI architectures, in the context of interactive art and entertainment, which simultaneously allow human artists to craft the experience while providing autonomous, generative and dynamic response to interaction. By viewing AI as an expressive medium, his work raises and answers novel AI research questions while pushing the boundaries of the conceivable and possible in interactive art. A major thrust of Dr. Mateas’s research is Interactive Drama. Façade, a collaboration with Andrew Stern, provides a good demonstration of interactive drama, showing how novel approaches to character AI, story AI (drama management) and natural language processing can be brought together to create a dramatically compressed, intense, first-person experience. Mateas’s continuing work on interactive drama is supported by a generous grant from Intel. Information about his work can be viewed at:

Janet H. Murray
School of Literature Communication and Culture, Georgia Tech

Is a professor and the director of Georgia Tech's graduate Program in Digital Media, and a member of Georgia Tech's interdisciplinary GVU Center. An internationally recognized interactive designer, she is the author of Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace (Free Press, 1997; MIT Press 1998), which has been translated into 5 languages, and is widely used as a roadmap to the coming broadband art, information, and entertainment environments. She is currently working on a textbook for MIT Press, Inventing the Medium: A Principled Approach to Interactive Design and on a digital edition of the Warner Brothers classic, Casablanca, funded by NEH and in collaboration with the American Film Institute. In addition, she directs an eTV Prototyping Group, which has worked on interactive television applications for PBS, ABC, and other networks. Murray has played an active role in the development of two new degree programs at Georgia Tech, both of which were launched in Fall 2004: the Ph.D. in Digital Media, and the B.S. in Computational Media. Murray holds a Ph.D. in English from Harvard University, and before coming to Georgia Tech in 1999, she taught humanities and led advanced interactive design projects at MIT. Murray’s projects have been funded by IBM, Apple Computer, the Annenberg-CPB Project, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Elizabeth D. Mynatt
College of Computing, Georgia Tech

Is associate professor in the College of Computing and director of the Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center (GVU) at Georgia Tech, has been named “Top Innovator” in technology by Atlanta Woman Magazine. Mynatt is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of ubiquitous computing and assistive technologies — examining the social and design implications of having computer technology continuously present in many aspects of everyday life. As one of the principal researchers in the Aware Home Research Initiative, she investigates the design of future home technologies, especially those that enable older adults to continue living independently as opposed to moving to an institutional care setting. Mynatt has also played a pivotal role in creating the new Ph.D. program in Human-Centered Computing (HCC) — the first program of its kind that brings together studies in human-computer interaction (HCI), learning sciences and technology, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, robotics, software engineering, and information security. Dr. Mynatt is a Sloan Research Fellow, and her research is supported by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), including a five-year NSF CAREER award. www.cc.gatech.edu/gvu/people/faculty/mynatt.html

Ali Mazalek
School of Literature Communication and Culture, Georgia Tech

Is an Assistant Professor in the Digital Media program at Georgia Tech, Her primary research interests include the application of emerging physical sensing and computer-interaction technologies to the realm of media arts and entertainment. Her new research group at the GVU, the Synaesthetic Media Lab, explores the intersection of physical/digital spaces through the design of tangible interfaces for collaborative and multi-user interactions with digital media applications and environments. Current research projects include the design of tabletop interaction platforms for media browsing and game-play, physical object sensing systems for remote awareness, and multi-touch interactive wall displays for multi-user media interactions in public or performance spaces. Ali Mazalek is a graduate of the Tangible Media and Media Fabrics research groups at the MIT Media Lab.

Michael Nitsche
School of Literature Communication and Culture, Georgia Tech

Is an Assistant Professor at LCC and a member of the Experimental Game Lab. Until Summer 2004, Nitsche was a researcher on 3D spaces at the Digital Studios at the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge, England in association with the Cambridge University Moving Image Studio (CUMIS). Nitsche’s  is currently working with Turner Broadcasting on projects in machinima (movie making using game engines)  and procedurally generated space. His main fields of research include Real-Time 3-Dimensional Virtual Environments (RT 3D VEs), the forms of mediation, spatial structuring and interaction design they use - and the interdependencies between them. He holds an MA in Drama and German language from the Freie Universitaet Berlin., an MPhil in Architecture and the Moving Image from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD from  the University of Cambridge (Darwin College), with a dissertation on “Virtual Story Spaces”. His work combines theoretical analysis and practical experiments conducted with technology originally introduced by computer games. He co-writer of the commercial computer game Zanzarah.

Blair MacIntyre
College of Computing, Georgia Tech

Has been a faculty member in the Georgia Tech College of Computing and the GVU Center since January 1999, after finishing a PhD in the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University in New York City. The Director of the Augmented Environments Lab, whose research focuses on the design and implementation of computer-enhanced interactive environments, Dr. MacIntyre’s current focus involves augmented reality environments, especially those that use personal displays (ie. displays worn or carried by the user) to directly augment a user's perception of their environment. His research addresses various computing issues (including human-computer interaction, computer graphics, computer systems, and software engineering) and design issues (including new media design theory, and tools and theories of design for new media) encountered during the design and implementation of augmented environments. He is involved with numerous conferences and workshops, including being a Program Committee Chair for ISWC 2000 (International Symposium on Wearable Computing), ISMAR 2003 (International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality), and UIST 2003 (The ACM Symposium on User-Interface Software and Technology). He is on the editorial board of The International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and is also the guest co-editor (with Mark Livingston at NRL) of an upcoming "Mixed Reality" special issue of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications. Information about his work can be viewed at:




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