Ventrella co-founded the virtual world product There.com in 1998. 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." One of Ventrella's core projects in Second Life was "avatar puppeteering," an area where he has also published scholarship.
Ventrella is also known as the author of Gene Pool, 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.
- "Avatar Physics and Genetics," Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2000
- "Evolving Structure in Liquid Music," The Art of Artificial Evolution, 2008
- "GenePool: Exploring the Interaction Between Natural Selection and Sexual Selection," Artificial Life Models in Software, 2005
- "Emergence of Morphology and Locomotion Behavior in Animated Characters," Artificial Life IV, 1994
- "Gliders and Riders"
- "Evolving the Mandelbrot Set to Imitate Figurative Art"
- Link to Biota.org interview
- Ventrella home page
- Melody Ball
- Gene Pool
- Avatar Puppeteering
- Divisor Plot
- Birth of There.com
- GameSpot interview with Will Harvey
- Second Life Blog, July 20, 2005
- Biography at Dorkbot session announcement
- Avatar pupetteering possibly coming to Second Life, Massively.com
- Gene Pool
- Darwin Pond online (Rocket Science Games)
- Masters of Digital Media Program Faculty List
- News release