Greg Borenstein is a game designer, technologist, and teacher. His work explores game design, computer vision, drawing, machine learning, and generative storytelling as media for play and design. He currently works as a technical game designer at Riot Games.
Greg is a graduate of the NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program and the Playful Systems Group at the MIT Media Lab. He was the consulting futurist and a co-writer for the Minority Report TV show and has worked for firms such as Makerbot, Berg London, and Polaroid. He is the author of a book for O'Reilly about the Microsoft Kinect, titled: Making Things See: 3D vision with Kinect, Processing, Arduino, and MakerBot.
Minority Report was a TV adaptation of the 2002 Steven Spielberg film created for Fox. I worked as the consulting futurist, helping imagine the world of 2065. And I co-wrote the ninth episode of the season, "Memento Mori".
Showrunner is an in-progress game that puts you in charge of a television show. Can you get good enough ratings to stay on there while bringing in shows on budget and avoiding getting fired by the network? You can follow its development here.
Sneak is a hybrid digital-physical tabletop game begun as my thesis in the MIT Media Lab Playful Systems group. It attempts to combine the social richness of a boardgame with the systemic complexity of a video game. You can follow its development here.
DeepView: Computational Tools for Chess Spectatorship is a collaboration with Grandmaster Maurice Ashley to use computation to make the drama of a high-level chess match comprehensible for novice viewers. It was premiered at the Millionaire Chess Open, the largest prize chess tournament in history. You can read its development blog here.
Ten Seconds is a casual press-your-luck twitch action game set during the nuclear apocalypse. It features art by Jack Schulze and Timo Arnall of Ottica.
Debate Camp: A Romantic Horror Story is a Twine game about the illicit romance between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio during debate prep for the 2016 Republican primaries. It was written by Caroline Sinders. I drew the illustrations.
Indistinguishable From Magic is a class at the MIT Media Lab about the intersection of magic and technology. I co-taught it with Dan Novy in the Spring of 2015. Kevin Slavin and Joi Ito were the faculty sponsors.
Flappy Bogost is a game that commemorates Ian Bogost's contribution to the Flappy Bird iOS gaming phenomenon. It pits Professor Bogost's majestic flowing locks against a series of green peppers in a dazzling New Mexico sunset landscape. It was created as part of Flappy Jam in February 2014.
Case and Molly is a location-specific game inspired by William Gibson's Neuromancer. It's about the coordination between the virtual and the physical, between "cyberspace" and "meat". It's played with the Oculus Rift and a smart phone with a mount that turns it into a 3D camera. It premiered at SXSW 2014 (Press: The Verge, Mashable, BoingBoing, Polygon) Read more.
OpenCV for Processing is computer vision library for the Processing creative coding environment. It makes it easy for artists, designers, and experimenters to work with OpenCV. It was developed with support from O'Reilly Media and the Processing Foundation. Read more.
We Make the Weather is an interactive installaton created for New Cinema program hosted by Eyebeam and The Creator's Project. Inspired by Hurricane Sandy, it uses seam carving, breath detection, motion capture, and the Unity game engine to poetically explore the human impact on the environment. Read more.
Running of the Bulls is an electromechanical game built with Scott Wayne Indiana that lets you participate in a tiny version of the Festival of Sanfermines.
@fanstasticvocab is a Twitter bot that invents new words with new meanings out of the atoms of English.
@uncannyxbot is a Twitter bot that produces plot summaries for X-Men comics than don't exist. At least not on Earth 616.
@speculativecash is a Twitter bot that generates novel types of money.
@pro_lol_caster is a Twitter that casts imaginary teamfights in pro League of Legends games that never happened.
@animal_tech_cop is a Twitter bot tracking the rise of animal-human collaborative policing of technology.
@sirbrianemo is a Twitter bot that mashes up Brian Eno quotes with emo lyrics.
@rulesofcards is a Twitter bot that generates rules for impossible card games.
@tv_pitcher is a Twitter bot that generates pitches for TV shows.
Machine Pareidolia is an experiment in the differences between human and machine vision. It applies a face tracking algorithm to images of inanimate objects that trigger human pareidolia. Read more. (Press: NBC, The Verge, The Atlantic, interview on Big Picture Science)
The Valley of Heart's Delight: Tinkle Toy is a multimedia installation that uses special effects as an artistic medium to construct an absurd and eccentric monument to the origins of the personal computer. Read more.
'LO': October 29, 1969 is a multimedia monument to the birth of the internet. See more images.
Homunculus is a video self-portrait that explores facial expressions and physical performance. In it, I use the position of my body to puppet a 3D model of my own head.
Face Fight is a collaborative drawing machine that allows two players to physically wrestle over control of a line in order to create a single drawing of both of their faces. More about Face Fight.
Physical GIF is a collaborative design project with Scott Wayne Indiana. It turns animated GIFs into magical tabletop toys. With a laser cutter and a strobe we give GIFs life off the screen. Follow Physical GIF on Kickstarter.
Open is a 30-second animated short about the adventures of a corkscrew. Hand drawn in Flash.
Tabula Rasa is a video meditation on the quiet of late night New York streets. It uses the music of Arvo Part and a composited miniature to reflect the beauty and calm of the midnight city.
Drift is a simple text editor that stores your documents as GitHub Gists so that they're always backed up and easily shared, built with Devin Chalmers and currently available in the App Store. More about Drift.
KAMAS: the Kinect Abnormal Motion Assessment System. A software system dedicated to automating the detection and tracking of movement disorders using the Microsoft Kinect. Winner of the national Health 2.0 Developer Challenge 2011. More about KAMAS.
Greg is the author of Making Things See: 3D vision with Kinect, Processing, Arduino, and MakerBot, released by O'Reilly Media on January 12, 2012. The book uses the Processing creative coding environment to introduce readers to the basics of working with depth cameras, from basic pixel processing to drawing 3D point clouds and working with user-tracking skeleton data.
The book includes projects and introductory concepts in a wide range of application areas made possible by the Kinect: gestural interfaces, 3D scanning for fabrication, and robotic vision.
Making Things See is available in print and electronic forms in bookstores, from Amazon, and directly from O'Reilly.
Greg is the co-author of Godzilla: Awakening with Max Borenstein. Released by Legendary Comics on May 7, 2014. Featuring art by Eric Battel, Yvel Guichet, Alan Quah, and Lee Loughridge and cover art by Arthur Adams, Godzilla: Awakening is the official graphic novel prequel to the 2014 Godzilla feature film.
Delve into an incredible mystery, generations in the making. At the dawn of the atomic age, humanity awakens life forms beyond imagination, unleashing monumental forces of nature. This explosive, larger-than-life adventure is the perfect way for fans to glimpse the new Godzilla before seeing the film in theaters.