The Playful World: Interactive Toys and the Future of Imagination

Mark Pesce, USC

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University January 19, 2001

In today's world of rapid technological change, the entertainment and toy industries are often implementing technology for mass consumption that was cutting-edge research only months earlier. The most radical new ways of living in the future may be arriving in our homes today in the guise of children's toys, such as the insanely popular Furby or the revolutionary LEGO Mindstorms. This talk examines this phenomenon by going behind the scenes at the crossroads of high technology and popular culture.

Mark Pesce teaches and does research at USC, where he has chaired the Interactive Media Program at the School of Cinema-Television. He is best known as one of the original designers of VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) that brought virtual reality to the World Wide Web. He is the author of the recent book, The Playful World

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