Building the Future of Computational Media

CITRIS researchers Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Michael Mateas have just published the final report of the Media Systems project — including a set of 12 key recommendations for building the future of computational media.

This report is the result of bringing more than 40 field leaders together for a meeting made possible by an unprecedented set of organizations: the U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. National Endowment for the Arts, Microsoft Studios, and Microsoft Research. This was followed by more than a year of additional analysis, conversation, and writing.

The report, “Envisioning the Future of Computational Media,” starts with the fact that the future of media is increasingly computational — video games, smartphone apps, ebooks, social media, and more.

As media evolve and change, the stakes are high, on many fronts — from culture and the economy to education and health. The report particularly focuses on opportunities for impact on national grand challenges and CITRIS research areas.

To create media capable of continuing the expansion of computational media’s impact, the report argues that we need to combine technical research that develops media possibilities with innovations in the creation and interpretation of media projects and forms.

Instead, today, we generally separate these activities. Technology research organizations generally don’t have disciplinary, funding, or organizational support for making or interpreting media. Media making and interpretation organizations generally lack support for long-term technology research.

“Envisioning the Future of Computational Media” is focused on recommendations for how to fix this. It aims to provide one part of the foundation for a set of new approaches to computational media — from industry, higher education, government and non-profit funders, professional organizations, and more.

For more information, please contact the Media Systems principal investigators:
Noah Wardrip-Fruin <>
Michael Mateas <>