What’s In a Game?

For NYU Community

A panel discussion on gaming and the new Game Innovation Lab at NYU-Poly led by Professor Katherine Isbister with panelists from Kaos and Zynga.

Panel discussion led by Katherine Isbister with Chris Cross, Frank Lantz, and Evan Narcisse (see below for bios) followed by ribbon-cutting ceremony, tours, and demos at the new Game Innovation Lab.

Panelists will discuss gaming, a $32 billion global industry and technology and innovation driver; a single popular social online game, FarmVille, had more than 80 million players (as of February 2010).  It is also an area that showcases the invention, innovation and entrepreneurship (what we call i²e) that permeates all of our programs and curricula.

We look forward to seeing you!  Remember to RSVP to, as space will be limited.

Panelist Bios

Katherine Isbister, Research Director of NYU-Poly's brand new Game Innovation Lab, is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in Digital Media (Humanities and Social Science) and Computer Science and Engineering.  Her research focuses on designing games that heighten social and emotional connections for players, toward innovating design theory and practice.  Isbister's recent work on movement-based gaming has been featured in Wired and Scientific American. Isbister is also an investigator in the NYU Games for Learning Institute, and serves on the Advisory Committee for the NYU Game Center.

Chris Cross, currently a Lead Designer at Kaos Studios, is a 16-year veteran in the video game industry, best known for his role as game design director of the award-winning Medal of Honor game franchise from Electronic Arts Los Angeles. The series sold more than 50 million units globally, making it the "Best Selling First Person Shooter Series" according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Since 2006, Cross has been consulting on numerous game projects in Hollywood through his work with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and building the foundation for Tarver Games. He started his game career as a tester at Blizzard in 1994.

Frank Lantz is the Director of the NYU Game Center, and Creative Director of Zynga New York. He has worked in the field of game development for 20 years. Over the past eight years, Frank helped pioneer the genre of large-scale real world games, working on projects such as the Big Urban Game, which turned the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul into the world's largest board game; ConQwest, which featured the first major application of semacodes in the United States, PacManhattan, a life-size version of the arcade classic created by the students in his Big Games class at NYU, and many other experiments in pervasive and urban gaming.

Evan Narcisse. If you need help and if you can find him, Evan Narcisse is a professional nerd-for-hire. After an awkward adolescence, he's gone on to write about video games, comic books and pop culture for Essence, AOL, the Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly and Crispy Gamer. Beyond Good & Evil is one of his favorite games ever and he listens to the soundtrack from REZ just about once a week.