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Monday, July 30, 2001

IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA

Workshop description:

The world of computer-based interaction is changing under the influence of computer-based games and toys. The e-games world from handheld devices, through television consoles, full VR installations and on-line gaming is in many ways, well advanced beyond corporate user interfaces. Are the academic and corporate UI / HCI communities missing the innovation boat?

By contrast with the user experience of commercial application software, computer games explore real-time interactions with a richness, variety and depth that is unparalleled in quality and inventiveness. While traditional HCI research has lingered on ideas like haptic force-feedback and multiple-person collaboration, the games industry has built and deployed solutions. While traditional IT has begun to think about information visualization and real-time collaboration, gamers just built it and made it all work. The list of innovations and deployments coming from the e-games world is impressive.

In this NPUC, we'll be looking at problems that game builders have faced up to and solved:

  • command and control models of games at both very small and very large scales;

  • giving overviews of large, complex, real-time situations;

  • deploying and guiding multiple actors in sophisticated environments;

  • creating bot intelligences that rival human performance;

  • running large societies of peer-to-peer players;

  • building environments that explore dramatically new kinds of interactions;

  • defining and using simulation models of nearly anything;

  • wonderfully detailed and rendered worlds with storylines, characters and situations...

  • completely new kinds of toys that have entirely new kinds of interactions, qualities and ways of being...

The list goes on and on...

Any one of these capabilities is not only a game interaction challenge, but also a challenge in the software we create for our day-to-day business and home applications.

The 9th NPUC workshop will be at the intersection of what games do, and what we -- the interaction designers of industry -- can learn from them.

Our speakers are from the cutting edge of the game industry: game designers, user interaction specialists and the practitioners of this high art. In addition to the talks, we'll have demos in the halls -- games that extend your imagination... and your ideas about computer interaction.

Mark Pesce (author of The Playful World: How technology is transforming our imagination)

Ken Soohoo (CEO of Planetweb, just shipped a browser for Sony PS2 Japanese market)

Will Wright (MAXIS, guru of sims)

Wolff Dobson (iKuni, AI & bot intelligence wizard, formerly of SEGA)

Hal Barwood (LucasArts, games designer, director, writer extraordinaire)

Chuck Clanton (Aratar, game designer, interaction translator for the CHI community)

Come prepared to have your expectations about user/computer interaction changed and expanded. Demos, experts, colleagues and great food -- all in the foothills south of San Jose.

Be there. Play on.

Where: IBM Research - Almaden, San Jose, CA


Date: Monday, July 30, 2001

Time: 9AM 5PM (coffee begins at 8:15AM)


What is NPUC: New Paradigms for User Computing (NPUC) is a non-confidential, invitation-only workshop and soiree for the community. In this one-day event, NPUC bridges academic and industrial HCI/CHI/UI/UE centers of work by focusing on a common theme. We've invited several leading experts in the area of human interaction technology to come and tell us what they know.

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