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About Mark

[Edit April 5, 2006]: This is really, really outdated... For more recent updates, check out my blog.

Mark and Robin's wedding cake
It should probably be noted that Mark and Robin got married in Spring of 2003!

[Transcript from an email message sent to my brother on 2/20/2004]:

As for what I'm doing... shit. a lot.

Maybe you could get an idea if you go to these sites: -- just worked on that site today; you're welcome to join if you want... [ed. 4/15/2004: broken link now, tsk tsk. For more complete info about my games research projects, check out my gaming page.] -- that's a little background info on PD and social dilemmas. I'm now working on a paper that deals with social dilemmas and computer games and the question of identities while playing a game... The whole identity issue stems from this idea called "New Literacy Studies" or "Multiliteracies". Basically, people can be literate in many different domains (computer literate, Jane Austin novel literate, skateboard techniques literate, etc.) and that in each of these domains a person plays a different role or takes on a different identity (sometimes an expert, sometimes a novice, sometimes a fronter, sometimes representin', etc.). For me this area of research stems from the fact that I'm taking a class on Digital Literacies right now. -- I'm part of this research group on gaming. It's pretty sweet. We're doing two projects: One is an EverQuest study and how people in the different language versions of EQ use gestures differently. The other is coming up with a model for engagement in computer games and then trying to measure good games to see if that model works. Then we might be able to actually write down the ingredients or requirements for a good game in some sort of research backed manner. -- my personal page in that group's site. Check out the two papers I've written if you want and read about my current projects at the bottom of that page.

Basically, a whole shitload of stuff! I feel twice as smart as I was half a year ago... but I also have this sort of dread for when I leave school. I mean, where the hell do I actually apply these skills?

[General updates, appearing in this fashion, to this write-up happened on November 2, 2001. Original text written anywhere from 1996 to 1999... just another example of how undocumented the web can be.]

Self portrait

When not working for the FBI or ATF, during high school, I spent my time modeming, gaming, and doing artwork. Then I decided to go to Reed with a federal scholarship with the contingency that I would later become one of their "supermen" like Captain America. Unfortunately, I happened to get into multimedia and have since decided to take over the world in my own fashion. [Wow, I was a dork 5 years ago! That in-joke wasn't that funny back then and now it's almost meaningless...]

I've gotten into reading Philip K. Dick, but my current reading material includes Snow Crash and Good Omens. I've got a modest collection of HK action movies. My favorite star right now is Jet Li. Sometimes I play tons of computer games and sometimes I don't. I guess it depends on which ones are currently out. Strategic games - specifically turn-based tactical squad level combat - are my favs. [Well, I'm currently reading some books on game theory and human interaction design. Latest sf read was Card's Ender's Game series. Best book ever: Cryptonomicon.]

I now spend my time mostly working and hanging out with my girlfriend, Robin, or biking with my new bike. I am an avid mountain biker and trials biker, but honestly I'm not very good. I finally got a *good* bike in Jan/Feb 1999, built it up myself, yep. A month before I did that, I didn't know what a bottom bracket was. My bike specs originally:

As one can tell, it is a mountain bike used for roads. I love it! Since then, I've switched to a suspension seatpost and I've acquired a BOB trailer. This is mostly because I plan on biking across the US with my brother this summer (2000) and I need to get stuff. :) [Of course, the bike trip has come and gone. You can read about it at Max and Mark's Excellent Adventure. Now the bike isn't so new and I haven't lived up to my expectations of doing mountain biking. I mostly use it to commute and do road riding on the weekends. And, of course, the bike's components constantly get changed around. It's fun! My next bike is definitely going to be a flatland bmxer.]

I got into computer animation when I was a senior in high school. Palo Alto High had a CAD class. AutoCAD and 3D Studio are my main tools. For the last couple of years, I haven't created as much art, neither hand drawn nor computer, as I would have liked, but I'll probably get going again sometime. [Correction: AutoCAD and 3D Studio *were* my main tools. I'm doing a lot of web design these days...]

Ushki at a tender, scary age

Back in late November 1998, Robin and I got a little kitten. Her name is Ushki and she is an applehead siamese. My first cat. I like her.

When I worked in KRRC during my first year at Reed, I got a request once to play a track off of Orbital's new debut album. It's untitled but some refer to it as the Green Album. Epiphany. Up til then my taste in music was pretty much the Euro Synth Pop of Erasure, New Order, etc. Since then I've slowly expanded my ambient/beat/techno collection. It's really hard to get stuff quickly since I try not to buy anything I haven't heard and no radio stations play techno. I've ended up buying a lot of junk albums - just your regular dance rave repititious techno. Boring. Orbital somehow seems to add an human element to their music. Still upbeat but down to earth too. My latest decision has been to never buy a new CD. Makes it doubly hard to find good albums, but it is a lot easier on my wallet! [Well, my music selection hasn't expanded much since then... But now I also love Los Amigos Invisibles!]

After I finished my studio art thesis (a computer rendered re-creation of Reed's own chapel stairs), I was asked to work on a project at Reed doing some virtual reality stuff. Quicktime VR to be precise, which admittedly is not REAL VR stuff. But it was still nifty enough to qualify as a good experience for me.

Mark's signature

Well, anyways... I was doing a tour of Reed for a conference in October that Reed hosted called EDUCOM 95. It was cool.

Since then the Reed Tour has gone through three incarnations. [You can view the latest, which was converted to web by someone else (and actually at the time of this writing has some broken links...), by visiting the Reed VR Tour page in the Admissions section of the Reed College website.]

I have been doing various multimedia and web projects for Reed for about 3 years now. Other than Reed, I've also done consulting work for Apple, Portland Public Schools Talented and Gifted Education, Geneforum, Billy Reed's, and a bunch of others.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

I am now the webmaster for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. This is an awesome job! I work with great people in a very cool setting. I help an organization which strives to teach people, especially children, the fun in science. Come visit me! It's so much fun!

November 2, 2001: I am spending my time redoing these webpages mostly so that I have something decent to show as I apply for graduate studies. I hope to study game theory and how its lessons can be applied to education, probably due to my work at OMSI. For the past 3 years I've done web design (learned a lot about database programming) and a few multimedia projects; stuff like interactive kiosks for exhibits. Both the web and the exhibits aimed at educating while being cool.

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