November 30, 2000
Interactive Television is Here: It's Called the Game Console


J.C. Herz
CEO of Joystick Nation Inc.

J.C. Herz is the author of Joystick Nation: How Videogames Ate Our Quarters, Won Our Hearts, and Rewired Our Minds (Little Brown 1997) and the CEO of Joystick Nation Inc., which applies the principles of game design to the development of networked applications in the business world. Prior to founding the company, she was a columnist at the New York Times, where she wrote a weekly essay on the art and science of interactive entertainment. J.C. sits on the National Research Council's Committee on Creativity and Information Technology, and advises a number of Internet start-up companies. She lives, works, and plays in Manhattan.

Tom Hershey
Vice President Operations, Sony Pictures Imageworks

Tom Hershey's experience in computer graphics was sparked as an undergraduate at MIT in the 1980's where he was involve din several university research projects. After graduating, he worked as a PC graphics programmer, then moved west in 1986 to pursue a lifelong interest in entertainment. In 1988, Tom was recruited from the UCLA MBA program into an executive training program, and eventually, a position as Director of Production Administration, by Columbia Pictures, now a division of Sony. The Jacket, a 30-minute short film which Tom co-wrote ad co-produced, earned a place in the 1994 Telluride Film Festival. Since 1995, Tom has had the opportunity to combine his knowledge of technology and computer graphics with his production experience as Vice President of Operations for Sony Pictures Imageworks, where he is leading the way to add games to the digital effects studio's purview.

Robert Nashak
Executive Producer, Knowledge Adventure/Havas Interactive

Robert Nashak is an Executive Producer in the Kids Business Unit at Knowledge Adventure, where he focuses on KA's portfolio of kids entertainment licenses. Before coming to KA, he worked at Disney Online where he helped launch the popular kids site DisneyBlast. For three years, he has been a faculty member in the USC School of Cinema and Television where he teaches two courses in Interactive Media.

Mike Fischer
Director of Marketing, Namco Hometek Inc.

Mike Fisher's videogame career began in 1990, when he was hired by Sega Enterprises as a liaison between the company's Japanese game creators and their overseas counterparts. In 1995, he returned to the US as part of Sega's effort to establish a high-tech toy division, leveraging the company's videogame technology to create new entertainment devices. Few projects ever saw the light of day, though one product, Pico, broke new ground as an interactive learning device. Mike is currently the senior marketing executive at game software publisher Namco Hometek Inc. He most recently oversaw the revival of Pac-Man in a new series of console games and worked as a driving force behind launching some of the best-selling games for the PlayStation 2.

Celia Pearce, Moderator
Research Associate USC/Annenberg Center for Communication

Celia Pearce is an interactive multimedia designer, artist, researcher, teacher and author of The Interactive Book: A Guide to the Interactive Revolution (Macmillan.) She currently holds a position as Research Associate at University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication and Adjunct Professor and Production Track-Head of Interactive Media in the School of Cinema-Television. Her past projects include: Iwerks and Evans & Sutherland's award-winning Virtual Adventures: The Loch Ness Expedition, a 24-player virtual reality attraction; the lounge@siggraph and The Virtual Gallery, a VR museum featuring walk-in paintings, both exhibited at SIGGRAPH '95; and, Body of Light, an interactive performance piece which has been performed at L.A.'s Electronic Cafe and Canada's Banff Centre for the Arts.