about michael

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I work as an Associate Professor at the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where I teach courses mainly for the Digital Media Masters and PhDs, as well as for the Computational Media undergrad program. I am founder and Director of the Digital World & Image Group (DWIG), which is the home for all my current projects. Some of our work is done in connection with the Experimental Game Lab. In fall 2013 I became the Director of Graduate Studies for our Digital Media program.

I am active member of a number of interdisciplinary centers and groups, these include the Graphics, Visualization & Usability Center (GVU) and the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology (GTCMT).

My main research interest regards interactions in hybrid spaces and asks how we express ourselves through interaction in them. This includes real-time 3-dimensional virtual environments as well as the physical locations where we engage with digital media. In my group, we use approaches from Craft Research and Performance Studies to reclaim these spaces for their inhabitants.

I used to run an irregular blog about machinima, Freepixel. It is largely for archival reasons still online. Together with my students we ran our studio blog for past projects and explorations.

I have been collaborating with a variety of academic and commercial partners on different research projects: Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in Cambridge, UK, the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET) in Cambridge, Alcatel-Lucent, the Georgia Tech Broadband Institute,as well as game developers Funatics, and EA. Other work was or is supported by the National Science Foundation, the GVU, Google, and

I hold an MA in Drama and German language from the Freie Universitaet Berlin, a MPhil in Architecture and the Moving Image at the University of Cambridge and finished my PhD in 2004 on 'Virtual Story Spaces' also at the University of Cambridge (Darwin College). A completely re-worked version of the thesis was the basis of my first book 'Video Game Spaces. Imagery, Play, and Structure in 3D Worlds' (MIT Press, 2009). My second book was The Machinima Reader (MIT Press, 2011) co-edited with Henry Lowood. In late 2013, I was guest editor for a special edition of Digital Creativity on Performance Art and Digital Media.

If not immersed in some digital adventure I am collecting screenplays. In a former lifetime, I gathered some experience in independent film production, scriptwriting, and even before that I worked for some years as an Improv actor at the Fast Food Theater, Munich. More currently, I am getting fascinated by puppets and crafts.

You can download my (not always updated) CV here.