David Sarno, The Power of Interactive World-Building to Illuminate Reality. Over the last 40 years, the videogame industry has gone from Pong -- two dots and a line sliding across a screen -- to huge, beautiful, living worlds that can manifest just about any fantasy. But now we can takes these powerful storytelling tools and aim them at reality: allowing the user to explore the inside of a human cell, great events in history, or the underground workings of an oil tanker. Interactive 3D visualizations -- whether they have game-like elements or not -- can take us to frontiers of reality that cameras can't reach, and that words can't describe. Our world is a magical place with plenty to explore -- who needs aliens and dragons?
David Sarno is the founder and president of Lighthaus Inc., creating digital storytelling using three-dimensional graphics. A recent project for Stanford Children’s Health displays an interactive heart surgery animation on their website, allowing users to mimic restoring a normal connection between the heart and lungs. Formerly a technology journalist for the Los Angeles Times, David has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in Computer Science from Yale University. In 2012 he was awarded the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University, focusing on 3D graphics in storytelling.
Interactive media and games increasingly pervade and shape our society. In addition to their dominant roles in entertainment, videogames 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.