User:Ben.christel

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Hi! I'm Ben, majoring in HCI, Stanford class of '012.

I think virtual worlds should ideally provide applications and experiences that more traditional information-transfer architectures (like the real world and the World Wide Web) can't. My goal is to create applications and games that:

  • are difficult or impossible to create in the real world,
  • are enhanced by inhabiting a rich virtual environment populated with many users, and
  • can operate synergistically with other applications in the world.

Operating System

Mac OS 10.6.7

Interests

  • Music
  • Architecture and urban planning
  • Languages and Linguistics
  • Sandbox games
  • Interfaces
  • Graphics
  • Physics Simulations

Application Ideas

  • A language-learning game, possibly integrated with other applications for maximum immersiveness. The entire world could function as an interactive visual dictionary; mousing over an object could display the name of the object in the target language. Various games and activities could build language comprehension skills.
  • A massively-multiplayer game of Assassins, Fugitives, or Humans vs. Zombies.
  • Collaborative music creation using uploaded sound and MIDI files, ideally with an in-world MIDI editor.
  • Parametric object creation, allowing users to quickly create and customize complex objects, such as avatars, furniture, and vehicles.

Experience

  • Maya 8
  • Google SketchUp
  • Autodesk Revit

Favorite Computer Games

Some of these might be relevant as inspirations for Meru apps or games.

  • Activision's Zork games (yes, I'm a philistine who got too frustrated by the original text adventures to finish them)
  • Sim City 2000
  • RTSs of all kinds. There's a special place in my heart for Age of Empires II.
  • Portal
  • Minecraft

What I did this summer

  • I made Terragen, a web application for generating terrain meshes and textures. It currently resides here.
  • I also worked on Flatland, a tool for quickly creating dialog-like UIs in Sirikata.
  • I made couple other little apps and games, like this train application.