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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chris Crawford to speak at ARTS Lab (6/13)

We're very excited to welcome legendary Game Designer/Thinker/Author Chris Crawford to New Mexico this June.  He'll be speaking at the Santa Fe Complex on Wednesday, June 10th -- and at a special Rio Grande IGDA event at UNM's ARTS Lab on Saturday, June 13th.

More info on the ARTS Lab / IGDA event below -- and at: 

Lecture:  Process-Oriented Thinking

The central problem in designing software is the difficulty of creating algorithms that describe interesting and useful processes. This lecture will explain the precise nature of this problem, the source in our natural thinking processes, and how designers might overcome the problem.

Workshop: Interactive Storytelling

Interactive storytelling is not at all similar to games; it appeals to a different audience and challenges different mental processes. The lecture will describe some of the basic concepts in interactive storytelling, and afterwards we will go over some of the basics of the Storytron approach to interactive storytelling. Attendees who have a laptop are encouraged to bring it for this session.


When:          Saturday, June 13th; 1:00 PM Talk; 2:00 PM Workshop

Where:         UNM ARTS Lab, 131 Pine Street, NE (see map!)

How Much:  Free!  (But please consider joining the IGDA  -- and our Rio Grande chapter)

About Chris Crawford

Chris Crawford earned a Master of Science degree in Physics from the University of Missouri in 1975. After teaching physics for several years, he joined Atari as a game designer in 1979. There he created a number of games: Energy Czar, an educational simulation about the energy crisis, Scram, a nuclear power plant simulation, Eastern Front (1941), a wargame, Gossip, a social interaction game, and Excalibur, an Arthurian game.

Following the collapse of Atari in 1984, Crawford took up the Macintosh. He created Balance of Power, a game about diplomacy, Patton Versus Rommel, a wargame, Trust & Betrayal, a social interaction game, Balance of the Planet, an environmental simulation game, and Patton Strikes Back, a wargame. In 1992, Crawford decided to leave game design and concentrate his energies on interactive storytelling, a field that he believed would become important. He created a major technology for interactive storytelling systems, patenting it in 1997. He is now commercializing his technology at his company website at

Crawford has written five published books: The Art of Computer Game Design, now recognized as a classic in the field, in 1982; Balance of Power (the book) in 1986; The Art of Interactive Design in 2002; Chris Crawford on Game Design in 2003; and Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling in 2004.

He created the first periodical on game design, the Journal of Computer Game Design, in 1987. He founded and served as Chairman of the Computer Game Developers’ Conference, now known as the Game Developers’ Conference.

Crawford has given hundreds of lectures at conferences and universities around the world, and published dozens of magazine articles and academic papers.

Crawford served as computer system designer and observer for the 1999 and 2002 NASA Leonid MAC airborne missions; he also has done some analysis of the resulting data. He lives in southern Oregon with his wife, 3 dogs, 10 cats, 5 ducks, and 3 burros.