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.

Generated Detective is an algorithmic detective comic generated from public domain novels and Creative Commons-licensed images. It was created as part of NaNoGenMo 2014.

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. aggregates more than 700 community-created extensions to the OpenFrameworks creative coding toolkit. Created in collaboration with James George.

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)

Monolith is a stop-motion music video for the band Soars made with Calli Higgins. This video was selected for the Southside and New Media film festivals.

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 proficient in a number of programming languages including Ruby, JavaScript, Java/Processing, C++ (for graphics with OpenFrameworks and for embedded systems with Arduino), and Objective-C. He has extensive experience in web programming including server- and client-side work for both his own startups and for an extensive list of clients. He also has experience creating and running open source projects including a few with a significant community of contributors. Below are the most prominent examples:

  • A Processing wrapper for the widely-used OpenCV computer vision library. Work on this library has been generously supported by the Processing Foudnation.
  • A Processing library that does real-time finger-tracking from depth images, for example from the Kinect.
  • A Processing library providing access to libsvm for the Support Vector Machine learning. Includes examples for text analysis and color- and shape-based object recognition.
  • A Processing library implementing the Dynamic Programming optimization technique along with a number of applications including, Seam Carving and Sequence Alignment.
  • A Processing library implementing Principal Component Analysis, a technique for finding the major axes of variance in data. Includes applications to statistical data as well as finding the orientation of 2D objects in thresholded images and 3D objects in point clouds.
  • An OpenFrameworks addon implementing the USB Unviersal Video Class spec for camera control.
  • A system for programming the Arduino microcontroller using Ruby. Created in 2008. It has a thriving community and is now maintained by others.
  • An Arduino library for working with OLED screens.
  • A MacRuby app that helps you close your browser tabs and submit them to Instapaper and Pinboard.
  • A user-modifiable network-aware editor in Javascript and REST. Implemented with jQuery and Sinatra.
  • A bridge between the Songbird music player webpage API and the JSON Shareable Playlist Format.



  • 2015
    Shakerag Digital Arts Workshop, St. Andrew's-Sewanee School, Sewanee, TN.
  • 2014
    MICE: Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
  • 2014
    SXSW Interactive, Austin, TX
  • 2012
    PULSE: Art and Technology Festival, Telfair Museum, Savannah, GA
  • 2011
    FORMAT, The Luminary Center for the Arts, St. Louis, MO
  • 2011
    New Media Film Festival
  • 2011
    Southside Film Festival
  • 2011
    It Reminds Me, Ventana244
  • 2011
    Spring Show, NYU ITP
  • 2010
    Winter Show, NYU ITP
  • 2010
    Spring Show, NYU ITP
  • 2009
    Winter Show, NYU ITP


  • The Art and Science of Illusion
    Shakerag Digital Arts Workshop Sewanee, TN June 21-27, 2015. (course notes)
  • Hold 'X' To Pay Respects: Systems vs. Stories
    Civic Media Group at the MIT Media Lab April 28, 2015. (slides)
  • More Pixels Law: How The Camera is Becoming the World's Most Important Sensor
    O'Reilly Solid, San Francisco May 21-22, 2014. (video, details, slides)
  • Learning from Science Fiction
    FITC Toronto, April 27-29, 2014. (video, Details, slides)
  • Order Matters: Accounting for Anchoring Bias on User Labeling in Recommendation Systems
    MIT Media Lab, Cambrdige, MA, December, 2013. (slides, full paper)
  • Making Magic Normal and Making Normal Magic (Design Workshop)
    MIT Media Lab, Cambrdige, MA, October, 2013
  • Inaugural Paperless Post Tech Talk
    New York, NY April, 2012
  • PULSE: Art and Technology Festival
    Savannah, GA, 27 February - 4 March, 2012 at Telfair Museum.
  • Art && Code 3D
    Pittsburgh, PA 21-23 October 2011 at CMU
  • Maker Faire NYC
    New York 17-18 September 2011 at New York Hall of Science.
  • Intro to the Kinect: Gestural Interfaces
    Taught at ITP Camp 2011 (notes, code, and slides)
  • Control Emacs with Your Beard: the All-Singing All-Dancing Intro to Hacking the Kinect
    Presented June 21, 2011 at OS Bridge. (notes, code, and slides)
  • Body Tracking with the Kinect
    Presented at Health 2.0 Boston. (slides and notes)
  • Looking Up at the MJT and David Wilson Interview
    Presented at Modern Languages Association Conference, 2011 (slides and notes)
  • Don't Lose Your Shit: On Version Control and Backups
    Presented at NYU ITP, 2010. (notes and slides)
  • Free As In Beer: Cybernetic Science Fictions
    Presented at the Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Association Conference, 2009 with Jeremiah Axelrod. (video)
  • Arduino is Rails for Hardware hacking
    Presented at Golden Gate Ruby Conference, 2009. (video)
  • Giving Rails the Big 'F': Surviving Facebook Integration Unscarred
    Presented at RailsConf, 2009. (talk description)
  • Ruby Arduino Development
    Presented at RubyConf, 2008. (video)


Godzilla: Awakening

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.

Available on Amazon

Other comics

  • December, 2015. A comic about boxing and deception based on a Brin-Jonathan Butler quote.
  • February, 2015. A three-panel comic about the death of a hat.
  • November, 2014. A multi-part algorithmic detective comic generated from public domain novels for NaNoGenMo. Read more about the process behind it here.
  • September, 2014. A two-panel sketchbook comic about fighting and dancing.
  • September, 2014. A two-panel sketchbook comic about hand gestures.
  • September, 2014. A two-panel sketchbook comic about fighting.
  • September, 2014. A two-panel sketchbook comic about a camera and a robot.
  • September, 2014. A two-panel sketchbook comic about surgery and food.
  • September, 2014. A two-panel sketchbook comic about guilt.
  • September, 2014. A two-panel sketchbook comic about work.
  • April, 2013. A one-page comic based on a tweet from a William Gibson satire account.
  • March, 2013. A one-page word-ladder comic imagining the end of Pope Benedict's papacy.
  • December, 2012. Published on Warren Ellis's blog.