I trained first as a comparatist in Continental Philosophy and the European novel at The Catholic University of America. At the Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinäre Studien, I focused on contemporary philosophy and technology.
My recent work has revolved around the intersection of technology and play, with a particular focus on video games and synthetic worlds. I’m especially interested in the ways that games and simulations make political arguments, and how new technologies are challenging the long-standing place of games and play in Western culture.
My first computer was a CBM PET 2001, a 6502-based machine with 4k and a green phosphor monitor that featured Commodore BASIC, a programmable operating system designed by Bill Gates of the start-up “Micro-Soft Corporation.” The PET stored data on a cassette tape.
Around this same time, my parents gave my brother and me a Bally Professional Arcade. Designed to compete with the Atari VCS, the Bally was amazing. Powered by a Zilog Z80, the 4k console featured a 24-key keypad, like that of a cellphone, built into the unit. With the addition of the Bally BASIC programming cartridge (based on Palo Alto Tiny BASIC), the game console became a fully-functional computer. The difficulty? That cellphone keypad was the only way to type. So to type the letter “A,” you pressed “RED” + “1.” The letter “B” was “BLUE” + “1,” and so forth. It made for a long afternoon.