CLASS #8 - The Art of Play

Nick Fortugno of Playmatics and Greg Trefry of Gigantic Mechanic stopped by class to talk about game design and the value of prototyping.

Nick and Greg recommend some games to play - papers please — device6 — dys4ria - passage — Heavy Rain — Last of Us

CLASS 3 - Writing for Multiple Platforms & Immersive Experiences


Chuck Wendig, Andrea Phillips, J.C. Hutchins and Atley Loughridge discuss writing for multiple platforms and immersive experiences. 

Moderated by Lance Weiler

Recorded Feb 17th @ Columbia University 

Projects referenced


Deja View

The 33 

Stephen King’s Bag of Bones 

A Map of a Floating City

Body Mind Change

Lyka’s Adventure

My Sky is Falling 

Meet The Real World Designers Behind The Fictional Video Games Of ‘Her’


While Spike Jonze’s recent film Her imagined many possibilities about the near-future, one of the subtler prophetic aspects of his love story hypothesized the next-frontier of video games, including interactive characters and controller-free consoles.

The movie’s protagonist, Theodore, could possibly even represent the gamer of tomorrow, and his video games of choice are equally futuristic, even if they are technically design fiction and only exist within the movie itself.

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Special Digital Storytelling event @ Columbia Feb 22nd


The Digital Storytelling Lab @ Columbia is partnering with the J School, Rhizome and AOL Ventures for a special event called Bit by Bit. In what promises to be an exciting week long program that matches storytellers and technologists, Bit by Bit will explore how we find and tell stories in our increasingly digitized, networked, and computer- mediated world. 

On Feb 22nd, the week long event kicks off with a day of Experiments in Digital Storytelling. Storytellers, journalists, designers, engineers, architects, hackers and makers will explore a new grammar in storytelling. Teams or individuals looking for collaborators are welcome to join a full day of paper testing, interaction design, physical computing and hacking. 

SAVE THE DATE - FEB 22nd - 9:30 to midnight 

A limited number slots are available for those not affiliated with Columbia University. 

For more info visit

CLASS 1 - Fear of Fiction and Phenomenal Work

Big thanks to Frank Rose and Brian Clark for stopping by class last night.

Frank gave a great talk on the Fear of Fiction throughout history. From Don Quixote to Avatar, Frank shared how immersion has transcended books, tv and films.

Here Frank touches on similar themes during a talk about the future of publishing.

Brian then gave a wonderful talk on Phenomenal Work touching on Dead German Philosophers, David Bowie, Brian Eno and William Castle.

The Future of UI and the Dream of the ‘90s

In this dream from the 90’s, we hoped for a world where every computer knows us personally. We would wake up to them, have them around us all day, and they would be the last thing we interact with before we go to sleep. They would predict our needs and wants and all interfaces would feel as natural as having a conversation with a friend. Technology would become our primary means (or only means) of communication and we would form relationships with these objects that take care of us.

In other words, we’re expected to translate our emotions through emotionless interfaces.

All humans are capable of emotional depth. While emotions are influenced by culture, emotions themselves are universal. We use things because they are functional but we become attracted and attached to them because of how they make us feel.


Syllabus for Spring Semester


Looking forward to class this semester. The course will be a mix of theory and practice. Over the course of the semester we’ll have some great guest speakers. Plus the class will make a field trip to Fake Love to hang with the creative team to get a sense of how one of the top immersive shops in NYC operates. 

Many have asked if they can audit the class. I’m looking into what’s possible. We’ll be posting to the tumblr over the course of the semester and if you have an innovative project that is launching please let us know. We’d like to check it out. 

Here’s the syllabus for the class

Hollywood’s Plot In 2014: Franchise Fever Mounts; Does Big-Budget Disaster Loom?


Plot Synopsis: The need to feed on other life forms pits survivors of a diminishing realm against each other in a seemingly endless repetitive game. Hope for a future lies in resurrecting the dead before they are cannibalized.

Genre: Franchise Fever
Location: Hollywood, 2014
Cast: Suits who survived 2013

Well, you get the picture.

Reboot. Remake. Rewind. In 2013, Warner Bros., Universal, Fox and Sony bounced executives, Paramount lost market share footing to indie Lionsgate and Disney said goodbye to tenured iconic Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and hello to the “force” Lucasfilm – all decisions that directly or indirectly had to do with the business of building new and rebuilding established blockbuster franchises. Life in the executive suite had come to mirror the survivalist fare studios covet at all costs.

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Based on British journalist Steven Poole´s intriguing book of the same name, Submarine Channel presents Unspeak, an interactive documentary investigating the manipulative power of language. Blending filmmaking, data, technology, and design, the story of Unspeak unfolds across a series of short films, data visualizations, and a participatory dictionary in an interface designed for the web and tablet.

Unspeak is a form of coded language that can be learned, and the documentary aims to kickstart the conversation, educate and empower audiences, and make the prevalence of Unspeak framing visible to the public. People will not be taken in for a moment by the power of deceptive language if we actually stop to think about it. Once you tune in to the wealth of daily Unspeak talk, you’ll start seeing and hearing it everywhere. And then, perhaps, we can fight back.

LACMA resurrects art & technology program


More than 45 years ago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art created an experimental program to bring artists and technology companies together in the hopes of inspiring innovative thinking in the visual arts. This week, the museum announced that it is resurrecting the program in the form of a laboratory and has partnered with companies including Google and SpaceX.

LACMA said its new Art and Technology Lab will award grants and make museum facilities available to help artists explore new boundaries in art and science. Grants will be made for up to $50,000. The museum said that artists have until Jan. 27 to submit initial proposals.

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