To help myself remember how I felt about various things that I finished
Friday, August 6, 2010
Mary and Max
This DVD was a gift from the inimitable Lisa Brown. It is a magnificent telling, via elaborate stop-motion animation, the strange true story of a lonely little girl in Australia who starts an unusual long-term friendship by writing a pen-pal letter to a random address in New York City, which turns out to be the apartment of a grown man, who lives alone, and struggles with a severe case of Asperger's syndrome. The story manages to be both charming and disturbing, as it probes the true nature of friendship, and what it is that we need from each other. I find myself very much haunted by it, as I think about my own strange hobbies, and the local and long-distance relationships in my own life.
Jesse Schell has taught Game Design and led research projects at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (www.etc.cmu.edu) since 2002. Jesse is also the CEO of Pittsburgh’s largest videogame studio, Schell Games (www.schellgames.com), the author of The Art of Game Design: a book of lenses (www.artofgamedesign.com), and the former chairman of the International Game Developers Association (www.igda.org). In 2004, he was named one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT’s magazine of innovation.
Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he was the Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio, where he spent seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and Disney Online. Before that, he was a software engineer at IBM and Bell Communications Research, and a writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Freihofer's Mime Circus and the Juggler's Guild. You can email him at jesse(at)schellgames.com.