Brenda Laurel

Principal, Neogaian Interactive

Brenda Laurel has worked in interactive media since 1976—in the computer game industry from Atari to Activision, and in research labs at Atari, Interval Research, and as a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Labs. At the Banff Centre, she co-designed and produced the ground-breaking VR piece, Placeholder. She researched gender and technology at Interval and co-founded Purple Moon—interactive media for girls—in 1996. She designed and chaired the Graduate Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design (2001-2006) and the Graduate Design Program at California College of the Arts (2006-2012). In 2015 she received the Trailblazer Award from Indiecade. Her books include The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design (1990), Utopian Entrepreneur (2001), Design Research: Methods and Perspectives (2004), and Computers as Theatre, Second Edition (2014). Her recent papers include “What Is Virtual Reality?” (Medium) and “AR and VR: Cultivating the Garden” (MIT Press Journal Presence). She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for organizations including the Virtual World Society and IxDA.


Watch Brenda Laurel talk at AWE USA 2017

My Sessions

Trips, Tropes and Hopes: From First-Generation XR ’til Now

Room B5

VR Pioneers Linda Jacobson and Brenda Laurel sit down to talk about things they have learned and observed in XR. They will frame the chat around three themes: movement and flow, bodies and avatars, and relationship with nature, including human nature.

Life Track