ACM - Computers in Entertainment

ACM Computers in Entertainment Ends Its Run

By Newton Lee

ACM Computers in Entertainment Ends Its Run

In May 2002, I approached the ACM about publishing a new magazine Computers in Entertainment (CiE) to cover a wide range of theoretical and practical computer applications in the field of entertainment. Instead of addressing game design, computer graphics, or other specialized areas singularly, the complexity of entertainment nowadays and in the future requires inter-disciplinary technological advances and integrated applications. The magazine offers a broad as well as an in-depth view of computer technology that can be applied to existing entertainment and that can create new genres of entertainment.

I chose the name “Computers in Entertainment” because my first-ever peer-reviewed research paper was published in the journal called Computers in Biology and Medicine, and it gave me the idea how to name the first magazine that I have ever created. Mark Mandelbaum and Jono Hardjowirogo from ACM’s Publications Department visited me in North Hollywood and appointed me the editor-in-chief.

The first editorial board meeting was held on March 12, 2003 with Disney Fellow Dr. Alan Kay, Kim Rose, Disney corporate vice president Bob Lambert, and myself at the famous Rotunda restaurant located at the Team Disney building (aka the “Seven Dwarfs Building”) at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. We discussed the scope of the new magazine, outlined the first issues, and suggested new board members to invite and to interview (among them were Quincy Jones, Seymour Papert, and Roy E. Disney).

My first interviewee for the magazine was Roy E. Disney, Vice Chairman of The Walt Disney Company at the time of the interview. On the morning of May 28, 2003, my colleagues Eric Huff, John Michael Ferrari, and Jessica Chavez arrived at the Walt Disney Studios to assist me with the lighting equipment and video camera. I was nervous because it was my first video interview for the magazine, and Roy E. Disney was the top boss at Disney—the company I was working for. My fear subsided when Roy turned out to be very warm, kind, friendly, approachable, and easy to talk to.

In October 2003, the video interview with Roy E. Disney was published in the ACM Digital Library ( along with the video interview with Dr. Alan Kay ( in the inaugural issue of ACM Computers in Entertainment with the theme “Educating Kids through Entertainment.”

And the rest is history. For the past 15 years—from 2003 to 2018—my colleagues, Chris Davison, Gina Lee, and I have interviewed who’s who in Hollywood and entertainment technology, including J. J. Abrams, Seamus Blackley (Xbox creator), Dr. Karlheinz Brandenburg (MP3 inventor), Dr. Cynthia Breazeal (MIT Media Lab Personal Robots), Matt Damon, Richard Edlund (four-time Academy AwardWinner for StarWars and Raiders of the Lost Ark), Bran Ferren (Disney Imagineering), John Gage (Sun Microsystems), Dr. Danny Hillis (Disney and ACM fellow), Tom Holman (THX inventor), Ron Howard, Quincy Jones, Dr. Leonard Kleinrock (Internet packet switching inventor), Dr. Chris Kyriakakis (audio technology inventor), Jay Leno, George Lucas, Dr. Nicholas Negroponte (MIT Media Lab founder), Dr. Francois Pachet (music research at Sony and Spotify), Dr. Seymour Papert (Logo programming language), Tiffany Shlain (Webby Awards), Tom Silverman (Tommy Boy Records), Sir Patrick Stewart, and Dean Wright (visual effects on The Lord of the Rings).

In addition to hundreds of interviews and online articles, ACM Computers in Entertainment has published more than 500 peer-reviewed papers with over 2,500-citation count and 500,000 downloads. The average downloads per article is above 1,000, and the average citations per article is approaching five.

Fifteen years of success would not have been possible without the dedication of the ACM staff, my colleagues, our editorial board members, and interviewees and authors around the world. In particular, I would like to thank our co-editors-in-chief Prof. Adrian David Cheok and Prof. Masa Inakage (2009–2012) and our section editors Prof. Dennis Anderson (society and education), Chris Davison (chief correspondent and analyst), Prof. Shlomo Dubnov (art and music), Prof. Hendrik Knoche (TV and movies), Andy Marken (blogs), and Prof. Abdennour El Rhalibi (games).

In the last decade and a half, we sadly lost some dear friends, and supporters of the magazine: Roy E. Disney, Bob Lambert, Mark Mandelbaum, Dr. Seymour Papert, Prof. Randy Pausch, and Charles Swartz. They are truly missed by all of us.

Computers in Entertainment will come to a close at the end of 2018.
The final issue of the journal has just been published and is now available from ACM's Digital Library.
The website content will be archived by year end and stored in the Digital Library along with almost 50 volumes of CIE journals.

I have personally embarked on a new journey transitioning from entertainment technology to transhumanist technology that presents a new frontier of innovation. On behalf of the entire editorial board of ACM Computers in Entertainment, I want to thank you for your support, contributions, and good wishes for the past 15 years, as I have faithfully served as the editor-in-chief of the magazine. Please keep in touch, and I hope our paths will cross again in the near future.
                                                            Sincerely yours,
                                                            Newton Lee

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