November 10

Exploration: Interfacing Complexity via Worlds and Identities

Interactive media and games increasingly pervade and shape our society. In addition to their dominant roles in entertainment, video games play growing roles in education, arts, science and health. This seminar series brings together a diverse set of experts to provide interdisciplinary perspectives on these media regarding their history, technologies, scholarly research, industry, artistic value and potential future. As the speakers and title suggest, the series also provides a topical lens for the diverse aspects of our lives.

Join us every TUESDAY From September 22nd until December 1st from 12pm-1pm in Herrin T175.

Can’t make it to the talk, but have a question for Vander? Submit your question HERE and it will be asked. By submitting your question, you’re allowing mediaX to use and record your submission.

Also listed as one-unit course BIOE196. For more information contact

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Paul Wallace

Paul Wallace, Exploration: Interfacing Complexity via Worlds and Identities. Do you live in one world, or many? Do you have one identity, or do you contain multitudes? Grappling with such questions will lead us into the heart of contemporary video games, whose gameworlds can be thought of as “explorable conceptual models”. In this talk, I will chart a course from the structure of interfaces and “conceptual metaphor” toward emergent understandings of consciousness and complex adaptive systems. Along the way, I will discuss the methods used in creating the iconic “Assassin’s Creed” trailers, highlighting the spatial qualities of gameworld narratives. I will argue that the exploration of “possibility space” within games is the embodied and cognitive process of creating “worlds” and “identities”.

Paul Wallace worked professionally in video games for over five years, producing award-winning advertising campaigns for Ant Farm, the leading marketing firm in the business. He led campaigns for triple-A titles such as “Assassin’s Creed”, “Angry Birds”, and “Amazing Spider-Man” for clients such as Ubisoft and Activision, as well as producing projection-mapped stage content for live-shows such as "Marvel Universe Live"​, and producing site-specific performance art events such as the "Port Huron Project". He received his BA in art-semiotics from Brown University, and is currently a PhD candidate in the Modern Thought & Literature program at Stanford University.