Video Games Symposium Features Industry Leaders

Presentation by Will Wright, the creator of The Sims and SimCity

Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and the School of Literature, Communication and Culture celebrate the tenth anniversary of digital media degree programs at Georgia Tech with the Living Games World Symposium on March 16 at The Biltmore. The day-long symposium will feature experts from industry and academia discussing issues such as the future of entertainment, creativity and narrative and game worlds. Representatives from gaming heavy weights such as Entertainment Arts (EA), EA Tiburon, Maxis and Turner Broadcasting will speak.

Will Wright, designer of some of the most popular video games including The Sims, SimCity, and SimAnt, will present "Content, Compression and Creativity" at 8:45 a.m. and will participate in several additional sessions at the Symposium.

"Will Wright has shown that you can make best-selling games that engage people in complex problem solving about realistic situations," says Janet Murray, professor and director of graduate studies in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture. "When you play one of Will's games you are trying to make a city more prosperous without damaging the environment, or trying to make two roommates with opposing personalities get along better.

"His games are popular across demographic groups, with adults as much as kids and women as much as men. They are all characterized by putting the player in a creative role and allowing the players to share the fruits of their creativity with one another. Will Wright has tremendously expanded the possibilities of game formats and game play. Will has also played a crucial role in fostering serious intellectual discussion among game designers and between game designers and academic researchers."

Participants include:
* Will Wright, chief designer and cofounder of Maxis and designer of SimCity and The Sims
* Bing Gordon, chief creative officer of Electronic Arts (EA), the leading videogame company
* Steve Chiang, general manager, EA Tiburon
* Christopher Klaus, founder and CEO, Klaus Entertainment (Atlanta)
* Blake Lewin, vice president of new product development, Turner Broadcasting Systems
* Paul Marino, executive director, Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences
* Dale Herigstad, executive creative director, Schematic
* Lassi Tasajärvi, Evenlake Studios (Finland) and author of "DemoScene"
* And more...

Registration is required. To RSVP and view the detailed agenda, visit

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Registration and Coffee

8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.
Welcome and Overview
Sue Rosser, Dean, Ivan Allen College, Georgia Tech
Kenneth Knoespel, Chair, School of Literature, Communication & Culture, Georgia Tech
Janet Murray, Director of Graduate Program in Digital Media, Georgia Tech

8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Will Wright, Chief Designer and Co-founder, Maxis
"Content, Compression and Creativity"

9:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Panel: Procedural Narrative and the Future of Story Games
Steve Chiang (EA Tiburon)
Chris Crawford (Game Designer & Author)
Michael Mateas (Georgia Tech)
Jay Bolter (Georgia Tech), Moderator
Will Wright, Respondent

11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Break

11:15 a.m. - 12:45 a.m.
Panel: Procedural Content & the Creation of Game Worlds
Amy Bruckman (Georgia Tech)
Irfan Essa (Georgia Tech)
Ken Perlin (NYU)
Lassi Tasajärvi (Evenlake Studios & Author)
Steve Cross (Georgia Tech), Moderator
Will Wright, Respondent

12:45 a.m. - 1:45 a.m.
Bing Gordon, Chief Creative Officer, EA
"Developing and Educating Creative Leaders at EA"

2:00 a.m. - 3:30 a.m.
Panel: Computational Power & The Future of Entertainment
Dale Herigstad (Schematic)
Chris Klaus (Klaus Entertainment)
Blake Lewin (Turner Broadcasting)
Paul Marino (Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences)
Janet Murray (Georgia Tech), Moderator
Will Wright, Respondent

3:30 a.m. - 5:30 a.m.
Demos, Exhibits, & Reception

School of Literature, Communication and Culture
The School of Literature, Communication and Culture (LCC) in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts offers several undergraduate and graduate degrees in digital media. The LCC faculty collaborates extensively with faculty in the College of Computing and the interdisciplinary Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center (GVU).

The full agenda is available online at