Will Wright, Creator of Sim City and The Sims, Maxis/Electronic Arts

Will Wright is one of the worldís leading designers of interactive entertainment. He co-founded Maxis with Jeff Braun in 1987 to produce SimCity-The City Simulator, which he had been working on since 1985. Released in 1989, SimCity became an instant hit and is now regarded as a classic, garnering 24 awards worldwide. With Fred Haslem, Wright co-designed SimEarthóThe Living Planet and in 1991, Wright and Justin McCormick designed SimAntóThe Electronic Ant Colony. Maxis has also produced SimCopter, SimCity, SimCity 2000, and SimCity 3000 Unlimited. Wrightís newest game, The Sims, and its expansion package The Sims-Liviní Large, puts players in charge of the lives of a neighborhood of simulated people. Released in February of 2000, this wildly popular title has become a cultural phenomenon, selling over 2 million copies worldwide. Will Wright has been on Entertainment Weeklyís "It List" of "the 100 most creative people in entertainment" (1999) as well as Time Digitalís "Digital 50", a listing of "the most important people shaping technology today." www.maxis.com, www.thesims.com

Sean Baity, Maxis/Electronic Arts

Sean Baity is an Assistant Producer at Maxis, a division of Electronic Arts. He was born in 1967 in Washington DC and grew up in San Diego, where he learned to play first computer game (Star Trek) in 1973 on a Unix mainframe satellite tracking computer at UC San Diego. In 1987, he turned has back on all technology except video games and went to art school (RISD BFA 1991.) In 1994 he turned his back on non-digital media and started making video game art. In 1995 he co-founded a computer company in a friendís garage but was not as successful as Mr. Jobs. From 1996 to 1999, Sean joined Electronic Arts, where he tested, analyzed, produced and made art for their video games. From 1999-2000, he was part of Maxis the team that produced The Sims and The Sims Livin' Large, where he was responsible for producing sound and text for both games. Sean is particularly interested in the role that humor plays in interactive fiction. www.maxis.com, www.thesims.com

Hal Barwood, LucasArts

Steve DiPaola, Stanford University

Steve DiPaola has been on the cutting edge of alternative user interface and animation design since 1984 when at the NYIT Computer Graphics Lab, he conducted pioneering work in 3D character and facial animation, producing papers as well as commercial and experimental animations. As Director of Development at Communities.comís OnLive Group, Steve led programmers, designers and musicians in developing 3D voice-based avatar software used by MTV, ABC and Universal Studios. As Creative Director, Steve co-founded and ran Saatchi and Saatchiís innovation arm in San Francisco and worked at the Advanced Technology Group of Electronic Arts. He recently stepped down as VP of Creative Development at the next generation, broadband browser company, Muse, to consult on interactive character and facial research projects as well as teach at Stanford University. www.dipaola.org

Matthew Ford, Microsoft

Matthew Ford leads production of the Asheron's Call franchise at Microsoft. He has been working on "AC" for two years, shepherding it through the last half of its development as well as maintaining it through monthly expansions. He also set many of the current Operations and Community standards for online games at Microsoft. Before Microsoft, Matthew worked for two years at Accolade in San Jose, CA, producing the game Deadlock, designing/producing a matchmaking system, and starting up a major multiplayer game that sadly never saw the light of day. Matthew got his start as a game designer, then producer, at Atari, making the arcade game T-MEK, a multiplayer hovertank deathmatch cult favorite. www.zone.com/asheronscall

J.C. Herz, 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. users.rcn.com/joystick.interport/

Henry Jenkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Henry Jenkins, Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT, has spent his career studying media and the way people incorporate it into their lives. He has published articles on a diverse range of topics relating to popular culture, including work on Star Trek, WWF Wrestling, Nintendo Games, and Dr. Seuss. He testified this year before the U.S. Senate during the hearings on media violence that followed the Littleton shootings and served as co-chair of Pop!Tech, the 1999 Camden Technology Conference. Jenkins has published six books and more than fifty essays on popular culture. His books include From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (1999), The Children's Cultural Reader (1998), "What Made Pistachio Nuts": Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic (1993), Classical Hollywood Comedy (1994) , Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (1992), and the forthcoming The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture. Jenkins holds a PhD in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa. web.mit.edu/cms

Yasmin Kafai, University of California Los Angeles

Marsha Kinder, University of Southern California

Marsha Kinder is a cultural theorist whose specialties include narrative theory, children's media, and Spanish cinema. She has published over 100 essays and 10 books, including Blood Cinema, Playing with Power in Movies, Television and Video Games, and Kids' Media Culture. Also a multimedia producer, her interactive works include Blood Cinema (the first scholarly hypertext in film studies); Runaways, a CD-ROM game for teens co-authored with documentary filmmaker Mark Jonathan Harris; and three electronic fictions: The first, produced in collaboration with novelist John Rechy was the recipient of the NewMedia Invision 2000 Gold Award for Overall Design. The second and third, made with independent filmmakers Nina Menkes and Pat O'Neill will appear in the "Digital Salon" at the Sundance Film Festival. These fictions came out of the Labyrinth Project, a research initiative on interactive narrative at USC's Annenberg Center for Communication, which she has been directing since 1997. Kinder also chairs the Division of Critical Studies in the USC School of Cinema-Television, where she has been teaching since 1980 and where she was the 1995 recipient of the USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research. Since 1977 she has been a member of the editorial board and a frequent contributor to Film Quarterly, and she was the founding editor of Dreamworks (1980-88), an award-winning interdisciplinary quarterly on dreams and the arts. www.annenberg.edu/labyrinth

Raph Koster, Sony Online Entertainment

Raph Koster is the Creative Director at Sony Online Entertainment's Austin studio, where he is in charge of the design of Star Wars Galaxies, a massively multiplayer online world set in the Star Wars universe. Prior to that, he was the lead designer for Origin's pioneering online world Ultima Online, and has been involved with online game design since 1992. He speaks and writes frequently on issues of online world design, and maintains a web page of resources and materials including his own writings at www.legendmud.org/raph/gaming/.

Douglas Lowenstein, Interactive Digital Software Association

Douglas Lowenstein became the first President of the Interactive Digital Software Association in June, 1994, building the IDSA into the most influential and important worldwide trade body representing the computer and video game software industry. Over the years IDSA has created many programs including a national ratings review board, the Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3), a worldwide anti-piracy program and more. Mr. Lowenstein began his career in the Washington Bureau of the Capitol Hill News Service covering public policy issues in 1974. He went on to serve at Legislative Director for five years in the office of U.S. Senator, Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH). From there, Douglas Lowenstein pursued his interest in public policy consulting and strategic communications for National Strategies, Inc. and then Robinson Lake Sawyer Miller, Inc. respectively. www.idsa.com

Janet Murray, Georgia Tech

Professor Janet H. Murray is the director of Georgia Tech's graduate program in Information Design and Technology. She is also Distinguished Contributing Interactive Designer in the Center for Educational Computing Initiatives at MIT where she taught humanities and led advanced educational computing projects for 28 years before moving to Georgia Tech in 1999. Her recent book, Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace (Free Press, 1997; MIT Press 1998) is widely used as a roadmap to the coming broadband art and entertainment environments. In spring 2000 she was named a Trustee of the American Film Institute, where she also participates as a mentor in the Intel-sponsored Enhanced TV Workshop. She is currently working on a textbook for MIT Press, Inventing the Medium: A Principled Approach to Interactive Design.www.lcc.gatech.edu/~murray

Robert Nideffer, University of California Irvine

Robert F. Nideffer researches, teaches, and publishes in the areas of virtual environments and behavior, interface theory and design, technology and culture, and contemporary social theory. He holds an MFA in Computer Arts, and a Ph.D. in Sociology. Currently he is an Assistant Professor in Studio Art and Information and Computer Science at UC Irvine, where he also serves as an Associate Director of the Center for Virtual Reality, and is hard at play initiating an Interdisciplinary Gaming Studies Program (IGaSP). Robert has participated in a number of national and international online and offline exhibitions, and has organized and presented at panels for a variety of conferences including: INVENCAO, the College Art Association; Consciousness Reframed; the International Symposium on Electronic Art; SIGGRAPH; Technography; Social Theory, Politics, and the Arts; The Berkeley Symposium on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Visual Representation; The Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery; The International Association for Philosophy and Literature; and The American and Pacific Sociological Associations. proxy.arts.uci.edu/~nideffer/

Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon University

Randy Pausch is a Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon, where he is the co-director of CMU's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). He was a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator and a Lilly Foundation Teaching Fellow. He has consulted with Walt Disney Imagineering on the user interface design and testing of interactive theme park attractions, particularly for the DisneyQuest virtual-reality based theme park. He also consults with Google.com and Z.com on user interface issues, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Jupiter Media Metrix corporation.www.randypausch.com

Celia Pearce, University of Southern California

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. She has eighteen years' experience as a designer of interactive attractions, exhibitions, and fine art projects. 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. www.annenberg.edu, www.cpandfriends.com

Ken Perlin, New York Universit

Ken Perlin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and the director of the Media Research Laboratory at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University. He is also the director of the NYU Center of Advanced Technology, sponsored by the New York State Science and Technology Foundation. He completed his Ph.D. in 1986 from the New York University Department of Computer Science. His dissertation received the Janet Fabri award for outstanding Doctoral Dissertation. He received his B.A. in theoretical mathematics at Harvard University in 1979. His research interests include graphics, animation, and multimedia. In 1991 he was a recipient of a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. In 1997 he was a recipient of a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his noise and turbulence procedural texturing techniques, which are widely used in feature films and television. Dr. Perlin was Head of Software Development at R/GREENBERG Associates in New York, NY from 1984 through 1987. Prior to that, from 1979 to 1984, he was the System Architect for computer generated animation at Mathematical Applications Group, Inc., Elmsford, NY. TRON was the first movie in which his name appear in the credits. www.mrl.nyu.edu/~perlin/

David Perry, Shiny Entertainment

David Perry has been in the video game business now for nearly 20 years. Starting in high school in Northern Ireland, he wrote articles and books containing video games that you had to type in. As times changed and games appeared in stores, he joined a publishing company in England to make games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Terminator. He then moved to America to make Aladdin for Disney and Cool Spot for 7-UP. In 1993 Perry formed Shiny Entertainment based in Laguna Beach, which so far has generated 6 highly acclaimed titles and retains around 40 staff. He's won numerous "Game of the Year" awards, including the prestigious European Golden Joystick Award for "Best Console Programmer." His company's "Earthworm Jim" game became a Universal Cartoon Studios/Warner Kids Network television hit, a Playmates towline and other licenses. In recent years Perry turned his attention to helping others into the business through his web site www.dperry.com and sitting on the advisory board of the Game Developers Conference. www.dperry.com, www.shiny.com

Skip Rizzo, University of Southern California

Albert "Skip" Rizzo received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He is the former Program Coordinator for the USC Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) and is the director of the Memory Enhancement Seminars for Seniors (MESS) program. He has joint faculty appointments with the USC Integrated Media Systems Center and the USC School of Gerontology. His current research interests involve the use of advanced computer interface technology (i.e., Virtual Reality) for general Mental Health applications, and specifically for neuropsychological assessment and cognitive rehabilitation/enhancement. He directs the IMSC Virtual Environments Lab, which is developing and evaluating the Virtual Reality systems addressing the assessment and rehabilitation of visuospatial abilities, attention, and other cognitive functions. imsc.usc.edu/

Tim Schafer, Double Fine Productions, Inc.

Tim Schafer is the president of Double Fine Productions, a San Francisco-based video game development studio specializing in story- and character-based games for next-generation consoles. Prior to Double Fine, Tim was a Project Leader at LucasArts Entertainment Company, where he was responsible for several adventure games, including Full Throttle and Grim Fandango. Tim also co-designed Day of the Tentacle, and served as a writer and assistant designer on The Secret of Monkey Island 1 & 2.www.doublefine.com

Warren Spector, Ion Storm

After falling just a dissertation short of completing his PhD. in Radio-TV-Film, Warren began his career in board and role-play gaming in 1983 with Steve Jackson Games. There he rose to Editor-in-Chief and worked on several games, including, the award-winning TOON roleplaying game. In 1987, he accepted a position with TSR, Inc. where he collaborated on the Top Secret/S.I. roleplaying game and the Bullwinkle & Rocky games, wrote a novel (The Hollow Earth Affair) and worked on several boardgames and roleplaying adventures. Warren entered the computer game industry in 1989 when he joined ORIGIN Systems, Inc. where he co-produced Ultima VI and Wing Commander and produced, among others, Ultima Underworld, Ultima VII: Serpent Isle, System Shock and Wings of Glory. In 1997, he joined ION Storm and, where he soon became a partner. Warren and his team recently completed the award-winning action/roleplaying game entitled Deus Ex, released in June 2000. They are currently working on Deus Ex 2 and Thief 3 for Eidos Interactive. www.ionstorm.com

Eddo Stern, Artist, University of Southern California

Eddo Stern was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. In the distant past he was involved in Military Electronic Warfare and Virtual Reality Programming. Today he is mostly an artist, teacher and an occasional writer. He is currently a visiting lecturer at the University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television and at the Art Department at the University of California at San Diego. Eddo's work involves using computer game scenarios to create narrative films, creating performative narratives within popular online game worlds, and developing independent internet games. In his most recent works: Sheik Attack, Summons to Surrender and A Touch of Medieval he explores the Military and Online Multiplayer Fantasy game genres for their cultural and social roles in the play of politics and pleasure. Eddo's work has been shown internationally, recently at Medi@terra2000 in Athens, CCCV in Barcelona, the Walker Art Center, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, and the Tate Gallery Liverpool. www.summonstosurrender.com

Dorothy Strickland, Do2Learn

Dorothy Strickland is President of Do2Learn, a computer software company developing learning games for children with special needs. Her present project, funded by NICHD, a division of the National Institutes of Health, is to use the web to provide software games to teach language and daily living skills to children with autism. As part of this program, animated characters are being used in virtual worlds to teach children how to respond to fire dangers in the home. Dr. Strickland, who is also a faculty member at North Carolina State University, has presented her research at various conferences and in numerous juried papers. www.do2learn.com

Larry Tuch, USC/Institute for Creative Technologies

Geoffrey Zatkin, Verant

Geoffrey Zatkin is a Senior Game Designer for Verant Interactive, now Sony Online Entertainment. Geoffrey was one of the original core Game Designers for EverQuest and EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark, working on all aspects of the game's design and implementation. He is currently the Lead Designer for Sovereign, Verant's Massively Multiplayer Online Strategy Game. Geoffrey's background is in Psychology. www.verant.com

Eric Zimmerman, gameLab

Eric is co-founder and CEO of gameLab, a New York-based game developer. gameLab's first title, BLiX, is available on Shockwave.com. Pre-gameLab titles include the critically acclaimed SiSSYFiGHT 2000 (www.sissyfight.com, created with Word.com). Eric's non-computer game projects include the interactive paper book Life in the Garden; Organism, a board game published by ArtByte in 2000; and game installations for gallery and museum spaces. Eric has taught game design and interactive narrative design at MIT, New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program, and Parsons School of Design. He has published and lectured extensively on the design and culture of play and games and is currently co-authoring a book with Katie Salen about game design to be published by MIT Press in 2002. www.gmlb.com