The Players - Network Character

Greg Niemeyer |

Born in Switzerland in 1967, Greg Niemeyer studied Classics and Photography. He started working with new media when he arrived in the Bay Area in 1992 and he received his MFA from Stanford University in New Media in 1996. At the same time, he founded the Stanford University Digital Art Center, which he directed until 2001, when he was appointed at UC Berkeley as Assistant Professor for New Media. At UC Berkeley, he is involved in the development of a major Center for New Media focusing on the critical analysis of the impact of new media on human experiences.

His creative work focuses on the mediation between humans as individuals and humans as a collective through technological means, and emphasizes playful responses to technology. Notable projects were Gravity (Cooper Union, NYC, 1997), PING (SFMOMA, 2001), Oxygen Flute (SJMA, 2002) and Organum (Pacific Film Archive, 2003): All these projects are collaborations, often with composer Chris Chafe. Current projects include Organum: The Game, Whispering Walls (Zurich, Switzerland) and PING 2.0 (Paris, La Villette Numérique 2004).

Ryan Shaw |

Ryan Shaw is a a second-year Master’s student at UC Berkeley’s School of Information Management and Systems (SIMS), where he works for Garage Cinema Research. Before coming to Berkeley he spent five years in Tokyo, Japan as an expatriate dot-commer. He believes that information technology should stimulate creativity (not just productivity) and communication (not just consumption), and thus he tries to involve himself in projects that explore the spaces between technology, entertainment, art, and design. His recent projects include Trace, a collaboration with media artist Alison Sant that examines the intersection of wireless networks and urban space, which was invited to the 2004 VIPER Film, Video and New Media Festival in Basel, Switzerland.

Dan Perkel |

Dan Perkel is currently a graduate student at UC Berkeley's School of Information Management and Systems (SIMS). His professional and academic focus is in interaction design, seeking out projects that come at the intersection of art, technology, design, and creativity. Dan is as interested in how design methods from one discipline can be used for projects in others as he is in the resulting artifacts of those methods. Currently, Dan is working on tools and games to enable youth to collaboratively construct multimedia narratives. In a past life, Dan worked as an interface designer and product manager for The Hive Group, whose Honeycomb software helps people make decisions through data visualization (such as Peet's Coffee Selector).

Jane McGonigal |

Jane McGonigal ( is a Ph.D. candidate in Performance Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and a member of UC Berkeley's Alpha Lab in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. Outside of academia, she is an active game designer (high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech), currently with 42 Entertainment. She specializes in massively-collaborative game models and games that are played in everyday public spaces (ex: I Love Bees and the Go Game). Her research interests include network-enabled gaming; play and performance in everyday spaces; collective intelligence; technologies for massively-scaled collaboration; play as design research; and viral art and marketing. She has taught two undergraduate courses at UC Berkeley on the relationship between plays (theater) and play (games) and "Game Design as Art Practice" for the San Francisco Art Institute. She is a member of the International Academy for Digital Arts and Sciences and was a designer/community lead on the I Love Bees team that received the 2005 Game Developers Choice Award for Innovation.

Lorenzo Wang

Christine Liu

Pete Nelson

Thanks to UC-Berkeley's Center for New Media, the Hellman Family Faculty Fund, Berkeley's Faculty Research Grants, and the Berkeley Institute of Design, for making Organum possible.