Peter J. Favaro
Peter J. Favaro, Ph.D. is a psychologist technologist who has worn both hats in a rich and innovative career since the early 1980’s.
Peter’s interest in technology started way before that as a high school student who learned how to program the earliest teletype in computers in BASIC as a high school student. In college he became an avid video game player and after entering graduate school in clinical psychology wrote the Atari company and told them he could add something with his knowledge of psychology and human behavior. He worked as a consultant to the company and began doing research on psychological aspects of video game design and play. His master’s thesis concentrated on transfer of training and video game play and his Ph.D. looked at physiological and psychological reactions while playing video games. It was the first research of its kind. While doing his doctoral research, supported by Atari, Peter maintained his interest in the nuts and bolts of coding working in machine language, assembler and eventually the first iterations of C.
Peter jumped at the opportunity to design and program his own games and contracted with Activision to do Alter Ego in 1985. Alter Ego was a life simulation based on in depth interviews with over 1000 people about their most significant life experiences. These experiences were used as the basis for a choose your own journey through life where player choices were captured and used to determine how and what your next experience would be. The game is a cult classic, still being written about today as much for its complex play mechanics as well as for the fact that it was the first computer game to come in separate male and female versions — the earliest attempt at capturing a female gaming audience.
While Peter was designing and coding Alter Ego for Activision he was also busy writing one of the first reference books for educational computing published by Prentice-Hall called Educator’s Guide to Microcomputers and Learning. On the academic side, Peter taught educational computing in the graduate education department of his alma mater, Hofstra University, as well as teaching artificial intelligence and expert systems in the graduate computer science department. In his spare five minutes Peter served as a special projects editor for early consumer computer publications including wring hilarious monthly computer puzzles for Scholastic Magazine’s Family Computing.
By 1988 Peter earned a dual Ph.D. in psychology and turned his attention to clinical psychology but would not/could not leave computing. While taking on a clinical case load he developed AI/expert systems for assessment and diagnosis and was an invited lecturer to a Harvard medical school conference on computers and medicine. He was designing and programming his own tech which he still uses in his current forensic practice.
Peter’s love of technology remained active and his focus and attention continued to grow in AI all throughout his career in tech/psych through the early 2000’s when he caught the attention of a company first called Seahawk, now Odyssey Marine Exploration, one of the most prolific finders of undersea treasure in history. Peter consulted and programmed software for the company.
For the last five years Peter has focused his interest in coding and designing in the realms of real time communication (primarily in the virtual healthcare space) and is revisiting the gaming market, focusing on AI and player development and signing on as Chief of Player Development for eSports company Flipside.
That’s not the last card in the deck either. Peter has been working in secret on a game that is going to revolutionize the gaming industry. Want to know more. Just ask! firstname.lastname@example.org