Jeffrey Ventrella

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Jeffrey Ventrella is a digital artist, programmer, and researcher. Ventrella was principal inventor and, with Will Harvey, co-founder of the virtual world There.


Ventrella co-founded the virtual world product in 1998.[1][2] Ventrella motivated the conceptualization and implementation of "avatar-centric communication" at There. Ventrella subsequently worked as a Senior Developer at Linden Lab, makers of Second Life. Speaking on the official Second Life blog, former Linden Lab CEO Cory Ondrejka referred to Ventrella as "one of the world's experts on avatars and 3D communications."[3][4] One of Ventrella's core projects in Second Life was "avatar puppeteering,"[5] an area where he has also published scholarship.

Ventrella is also known as the author of GenePool,[6][7][8] an artificial life game demonstrating Darwinian evolution. He has published several articles in the artificial life community. Prior to his career in virtual worlds, Ventrella joined Rocket Science Games in 1995, where he prototyped games and designed the artificial life simulator Darwin Pond.[9]

Ventrella taught at the Centre for Digital Media at Great Northern Way Campus, in Vancouver, British Columbia.[10][11] He frequently appears on the podcast.


Ventrella holds a master's degree in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab and a Master of Fine Arts in Computer Graphics from Syracuse University.


  • "Avatar Physics and Genetics," Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2000[12]
  • "Evolving Structure in Liquid Music," The Art of Artificial Evolution, 2008[13]
  • "GenePool: Exploring the Interaction Between Natural Selection and Sexual Selection," Artificial Life Models in Software, 2005[14]
  • "Emergence of Morphology and Locomotion Behavior in Animated Characters," Artificial Life IV, 1994[15]
  • "Gliders and Riders"[16]
  • "Evolving the Mandelbrot Set to Imitate Figurative Art"[17]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ GameSpot interview with Will Harvey
  2. ^
  3. ^ Second Life Blog, July 20, 2005
  4. ^ Biography at Dorkbot session announcement
  5. ^ Avatar pupetteering possibly coming to Second Life,
  6. ^ Gene Pool
  7. ^ "TIGSource » TIGArchive » Gene Pool".
  8. ^ "Jeffrey Ventrella".
  9. ^ Darwin Pond online (Rocket Science Games)
  10. ^ "Masters of Digital Media Program Faculty List". Archived from the original on 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  11. ^ "News release". Archived from the original on 2008-09-12. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  12. ^ Ventrella, Jeffrey (2000). "Avatar Physics and Genetics". Virtual Worlds. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Vol. 1834. pp. 107–118. doi:10.1007/3-540-45016-5_11. ISBN 978-3-540-67707-9.
  13. ^ Ventrella, J. J. (2008). "Evolving Structure in Liquid Music". The Art of Artificial Evolution. Natural Computing Series. pp. 269–288. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-72877-1_13. ISBN 978-3-540-72876-4.
  14. ^ Ventrella, Jeffrey (2005). "Gene Pool: Exploring the Interaction Between Natural Selection and Sexual Selection". Artificial Life Models in Software. pp. 81–96. doi:10.1007/1-84628-214-4_4. ISBN 1-85233-945-4.
  15. ^ "SS > NF reviews > Jeffrey Ventrella". Archived from the original on 2008-12-09. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  16. ^ Ventrella, J. J. (2006). "Gliders and Riders: A Particle Swarm Selects for Coherent Space-Time Structures in Evolving Cellular Automata". Stigmergic Optimization. Studies in Computational Intelligence. Vol. 31. pp. 131–154. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-34690-6_6. ISBN 978-3-540-34689-0.
  17. ^ Design by Evolution. Natural Computing Series. Springer. 2008. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-74111-4. ISBN 978-3-540-74109-1.