IMGD Lecture Series

The Interactive Media & Game Development (IMGD) lecture series brings in influential people from academia and industry to speak on topics relevant to IMGD. These sessions are formal presentations open to the general public. 

Deirdra “Squinky” Kiai

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Kinnecutt Hall, Salisbury Labs 115

Deirdra Kiai is at the vanguard of today’s independent game scene. Her Kickstarted stop-motion adventure, Dominique Pamplemousse: It’s All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!, was nominated for four IGF 2014 Awards including the Grand Prize, was a jury selection at IndieCade 2013, and is now available on Steam. Join us as “Squinky” reveals the horrors and glories of no-budget indie game development. This is one lecture you do not want to miss!   Learn more about this remarkable writer/engineer/artist/musician at

James Gurney

Thursday, February 21st, 2013
Kinnecutt Hall, Salisbury Labs 115

James Gurney is best known as the creator of Dinotopia, the Hugo Award-winning book series that spawned a mini-industry of TV shows, video games and an animated feature film. He specializes in "painting realistic images of scenes that can’t be photographed." His work has appeared in National Geographic magazine, the Smithsonian and Norman Rockwell Museums, and on United States postage stamps. His most recent book, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (2010) was Amazon’s #1 bestselling book on painting for over 52 weeks.

Mr. Gurney is also a highly sought-after lecturer, appearing everywhere from Disney to Dreamworks to Lucasfilm to Blizzard. His WPI lecture, titled “Worldbuilding,” will include a live demonstration of his amazing technique.  

Learn out more about James Gurney, and check out an online gallery, at

Chris Crawford

Thursday, March 29th 2012
Atwater Kent 116

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, Gossip and Excalibur. Following the collapse of Atari in 1984, Crawford took up the Macintosh. He created Balance of Power, widely regarded as the first newsgame, Patton Versus Rommel, Trust & Betrayal, Balance of the Planet and Patton Strikes Back. 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,

Crawford has written five published books: The Art of Computer Game Design (1984), now recognized as a classic in the field, Balance of Power (1986), The Art of Interactive Design (2002), Chris Crawford on Game Design (2003) and Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling (2004). He created the first periodical on game design, the Journal of Computer Game Design, in 1987. In 1988, 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, 7 cats, 3 ducks, and 3 burros.

Crawford’s WPI lecture will begin with an explanation of the importance of interactivity in software design and what it really means. Then the focus of lecture zeroes in on the most difficult step in interactivity design: how to get the computer to think interesting thoughts in its interactions with the player. This requires an understanding of a fundamental dichotomy between things and processes. Is reality a collection of things or a system of processes? In truth, it is both, but we humans are prejudiced in favor of thinking in terms of things. The lecture then turns to the problem of how to develop a process-intensive thinking style.

Don’t miss this chance to experience a legendary figure in digital gaming!

Jonathan Blow

Wednesday, December 7th 2011
Olin Hall 107

Jonathan Blow, author of the award-winning indie game BRAID, is coming to WPI next Wednesday, December 7th.

His lecture, "Designing to Reveal the Nature of the Universe," will be presented at 7:00 pm in Olin 107, followed by a question and answer session.

Mr. Blow is known for his passionate exploration of digital games as art, controversial views on design and pointed criticism of the industry.

The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited, so come early if you want a good seat.

Lecture Series 2004-2011

  • Email a Friend
  • Bookmark this Page
  • Share this Page