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Michael Sellers

Michael Sellers is Director of the Game Design program and a Professor of Practice at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

Sellers has worked as a professional game designer since 1994, with a focus on designing social, mobile, and massively multiplayer online games (MMOs). He has started and run three successful game studios and has also worked for notable game developers such as 3DO, Electronic Arts, Kabam, and Rumble Entertainment as a lead designer, executive producer, general manager, and creative director.

His first commercial game was the award-winning Meridian 59, the first 3D MMO, released in 1996. He was also the lead designer on The Sims 2, Ultima Online, Holiday Village, Blastron, and Realm of the Mad God, among other games.

In addition to his work in games, Sellers has conducted and published original research in artificial intelligence. His AI research, partly funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), focuses on “social artificial intelligence”–creating agents that behave plausibly in social situations. As part of this effort, Sellers has published groundbreaking work on enabling artificially intelligent agents to learn, form social relationships, and have and express emotions based on a unifying psychological architecture.

Sellers has a BS in cognitive science. In addition to working on games and AI, he has worked as a software engineer, user interface designer, RPG miniatures sculptor, and briefly as a circus roustabout and movie extra.

He has a Bacon number of 2 and hopes someday to have an Erdos number.