Media, education and culture, a programme of the EU

Speaker's Biographies
Developing Interactive Narrative Content Seminar 2004

Ernest Adams | Michael Bechinie |Sebastian Belcher | Frank Boyd | Matthias Brix | Brunhild Bushoff | Lars Christiansen| Martin Freeth |Sibylle Kurz | Craig Lindley | Neil Richards | Vincent Scheurer | Stale Stenslie | Richard Wages

Ernest Adams

Ernest Adams is a game design consultant and a member of the International Hobo design consortium. He has been in the game industry for 14 years, and was most recently employed as a lead designer at Bullfrog Productions on the Dungeon Keeper series. For several years before that he was the audio/video producer on the Madden NFL Football product line at Electronic Arts. Mr. Adams is the author of two books, Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design (with Andrew Rollings) and Break Into the Game Industry: How to Get a Job Making Video Games. He also writes the popular Designer's Notebook columns for the Gamasutra developers' webzine. His website is at

Michael Bechinie (CEO, R&D)

Born 1969 in Vienna. Married, two children. Studies in Zoology and Anthropology at the University of Vienna. Additional studies in "Cognitive Sciences". Diploma (Mag.) in Human Ethology at the University of Vienna. 1992 – 1998 research projects at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Urban Ethology in Vienna (Prof. Dr. Karl Grammer). Member of the following societies: ISHE (International Society for Human Ethology), ACM/SigCHI (Association for Computing Machinery). 1997-2003 Founder/CEO of "evolutnik websolutions" (electronic media design) together with his brother Christian Bechinie. 2003 Founder/CEO of digitalMankind research & software development GmbH. 2004 Business Award "Cooperate Vienna 2003", granted by the Vienna Business Agency for the project "Software for the simulation of non-verbal human behavior".

Sebastian Belcher

Sebastian is a senior associate at Harbottle & Lewis, London. Much of his work involves computer games, internet and new media matters.

He handles a variety of commercial and corporate work concentrated on these industries but also more generally within the media, entertainment and leisure industries including the development, distribution, licensing and other content-based deals. He is also involved in the setting up of corporate and contractual joint ventures, start up and financing and mergers and acquisition work within these fields.

Recent work includes advising TakeTwo Interactive Inc., the NASDAQ quoted computer games publisher on its sale of Pixel Broadband Studios, an Israeli broadband technology company to Gameplay, together with an online distribution arrangement providing Gameplay with online rights to Take Two products.

Frank Boyd

Frank Boyd is a specialist in creativity and innovation especially in the field of new media.

He has been Director of the European Multimedia Labs, an occasional series of development workshops, since 1995. The Labs have supported the creation of new for some of the most talented new media creatives in Europe. Frank is now working with X Media Lab in Sydney to develop a programme in Australia.

He worked for BBC’s Learning and Innovation Division for 5 years to January 2004 as Director of Creative Development where he managed a series of workshops for producers in and new media to create new ideas for TV, radio, broadband and interactive television.

Previously he had set up the Arts Technology Centre, the first independent centre in the UK dedicated to creative applications of digital technology. Artec's programmes included production and research as well as vocational training and educational projects.

Frank was a founder member of the BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards and organiser of the UK's Digital Media Alliance (DMA). He has been a special adviser on new media to both the European Commission and the Council of Europe. He is currently advising the British Government’s Department of Trade and Industry on building the interactive skills base in the UK.

Matthias Brix

Matthias Brix studied law at the University of Hamburg. From childhood onwards - the time of the Commodore C64 - he has devoted himself intensively to computers. In 1991 he founded an import and wholesale company for computer parts from Taiwan and China. After he successfully sold the company four years later, the supervisory board of the publishing house Axel Springer commissioned him to develop a computer magazine. With over a million copies sold, the magazine "ComputerBILD" became the world's second largest computer magazine. Parallel to this as of 1996 Matthias Brix worked as a technical consultant for DVCG, a venture capital subsidiary of Deutsche Bank and the WGZ Bank. In 2000 he started at Dr. Neuhaus Techno Nord GmbH. Here he evaluats new projects and supportes portfolio companies as an Investment Manager.

Brunhild Bushoff

Project manager training initiatives sagas writing interactive fiction & sagasnet.
After completing her university studies in journalism, history and German at the Westfaelische Wilhelms Universitaet in Muenster with a Ph.D. in 1984, worked as journalist and author. Developed interdisciplinary workshop series sagas writing interactive fiction, a training project (organized by the Munich Film Academy) in the frame of the MEDIA PLUS Programme of the European Community that furthers the development of narrative content forinteractive media and targets knowledge transfer between professionals working in the film + TV industry and those working for interactive media.
Founded in 2002 sagasnet, a training initiative aiming at promoting and supporting narrative interactive projects in development and also a MEDIA PLUS Training project.

Lars Christiansen

1995-2000 Design college in Denmark/Kolding ”Designskolen Kolding”
1999 Hogeschool voor de kunsten Utrecht in The Nederlands
2000 - working at tv-animation as Head of interactive design
Worked on:
Interactive TV-show for Noga Israel
Web site for Nelly Nut, Danish TV2 and CBBC
Web site for JenniferJohn & BritneyBob, DR Denmarks Radio
Award winning web site Högaffla Hage, SVT Swedish Television
( )
Interactive TV-show “Twebby” for SVT Swedish Television
Award winning Interactive window display for Levi’s
Interactive TV-show “En ska BoRt” for SVT Swedish television

Sibylle Kurz

Communication skill trainer, specialised expert in "The Art of Pitching“, works internationally since 1994 for film-schools and media-institutions. Furthermore she consults, offers trainings and personal coachings in this field in the media-industry.

With an academic background in media- and communication science, psychology and sociology she specialises in intensive pitching training, project presentation and proposal development. As a member of the pedagogical team of EAVE, an European training programme, and with experience in “decision making” for several other MEDIA Programmes and also in consultancy work, her intensive workshop sessions enable producers and writers to hone and time-tune their projects prior to pitching as well as gain insight into their own professional practice. Her experience in “The Art of Pitching” results from more than 15 years experience in acquisition, distribution and co-production of theatrical-, video- and TV-films in the German-speaking market.

Craig Lindley

Prof. Craig Lindley PhD 1997, MAppSc 1991, has an extensive scientific research background specialising in the areas of knowledge base systems, artificial intelligence, autonomous agents, digital media systems, game design and believable expressive characters. He has a PhD in computing science, and has worked as a technical researcher, a technical R&D project leader and a project manager for many research projects conducted in collaboration with industry partners. Most of his research experience has been conducted while working for the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). In recent years he has been involved in research on computer game forms, characterisation, narrative and believable agents in virtual environments, and has developed both 2D and 3D game engines. After recently working as the Research Manager within the Zero-Game Studio, an applied game research studio within the Interactive Institute in Sweden, he is now Professor of the Institution for Engineering, Art and New Media at the University of Gotland in Sweden.

Neil Richards

Neil Richards started out developing scripts for David Puttnam in the movie industry. He then became a story-exec and producer in TV and started writing TV shows himself. Co-writing Starship Titanic with Douglas Adams in '98 flung him into the world of games and interactive TV. He's been writing games and TV ever since...

Neil mentors for BBC iTV and broadband workshops, for PAL (Media Programme), PILOTS (Media Programme) and PYGMALION (Media Programme/Paris/Berlin Film Schools). He has also consulted for the BBC as a producer in Creative Development, devising and running Creative/Interactive Labs across the BBC. Neil is a BAFTA member and has served on BAFTA interactive juries.

And in case that all sounds way too serious... Neil also wasted the best years of his life: driving trucks, delivering beer, mixing cement, filing forms, working in - a coat-hangar factory, a lawnmower factory, a paper-mill, a bromine-bottling plant, a rabbit-killer factory, an abattoir, a suit-importer, a coal-mine in Turkey, a publishing company and... the final straw before becoming a writer... a university.

Vincent Scheurer

Vincent comes from an in-house background and specialises in commercial and corporate work in connection with the digital media and Internet industries. He concentrates on agreements for the development and exploitation of interactive software products, particularly in the entertainment and educational field, and on Internet related agreements.

His recent work includes advising on international distribution and licensing agreements for software games and the acquisition and exploitation of trade mark licences within software products, including product placement agreements. He also advises on the agreements concerning the exploitation of rights over the Internet and other new communications structures as well as Internet and e-commerce service provision, development and maintenance agreements.

Vincent qualified as a barrister in 1994. He worked as an in-house lawyer for a software house before joining Osborne Clarke in 1999 as a non-practising barrister.

Stale Stenslie

Prof. Stale Stenslie is working on the development of different interface technologies and tools for the digital culture within the fields of art, media and network-research. Lives and works as media artist, curator, scientist and media researcher in Oslo, Norway and Cologne, Germany. Presently working with cognition and perception manipulative projects. He became one of the Fathers of Cybersex after he built the worlds first full-body, tele-tactile communication system in 1993 (cyberSM).

He has been exhibiting and lecturing at major international events (ISEA, DEAF, Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH). He represented Norway at the 5th biennial in Istanbul, Turkey, co-organized 6cyberconf, won the Grand Prize of the Norwegian Council for Cultural Affairs, and was a founding member of mem_brane -network research laboratory- in Mediapark, Cologne, Germany. He was moderating the Ars Electronica 2000 Symposium (Next Sex). Since 2001 he is a professor In New Media at the Media Academy of Cologne, Germany

Richard Wages, Dipl.-Math.

(Cologne, Germany)
Richard Wages is a scientist at the Nomads Lab / Laboratory of Mixed Realities (LMR) at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. He was born in Moenchengladbach, Germany in 1967. Studied mathematics and biology at the University of Tuebingen, Germany and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA (UMass scholarship in 1993/94) with a main focus on group and category theory. Additional interests are chaos theory, cybernetics and bioethics. Masters thesis in 1999: 'Homology Theory of Commutative C*-Algebras'. Engineer in the mainframe computer and mass storage systems testing division at Hewlett-Packard Germany in 2000. Since April 2001 research and development in the alVRed project (Nonlinear Dramaturgy for VR Environments) funded by the German Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF), project leader since 2002. Main research focus within the project is Non-linear Storytelling in VR, Creative Tools, Aesthetic and Interdisciplinary Considerations on Computer Games. Additional areas of research interest are hierarchies and heterarchies, emergent system behaviour and anticipatory systems. Outside the scientific world a passionate hobby photographer with his own laboratory. His artistic work comprises mainly series of portraits and details.