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Who is Moses Silbiger?

www.pressplaytogrow.com

Moses Silbiger was born in Brazil in 1969, the oldest son of a small middle class Jewish family. Although his mother converted from Catholicism when married, he was naturally exposed to a rich contrast of families, cultures and religions since a very young age. This diversity included intermittent changes between busy urban and laid back tropical life styles, added to an early experience of living abroad in the US, when he even learned to read in English before his own native Portuguese language. As far as he can remember, he often saw himself with an open, adventurous and curious attitude towards life, carrying an intuitive and artistic sensitivity allied with a rational pull towards reflection and inquiry. The combination of these “nature vs. nurture” factors had a big influence in the shaping of his future personal, interpersonal and professional life.

Due to a series of existential and transformative experiences in his mid-teens, Moses started to nurture an intense interest for the subjects of psychology and spirituality, following the perennial search for a deeper “Truth” and meaning. During this initial transformative phase and especially in the early 90s, his spiritual identification became quite eclectic, covering a wide range of traditions, philosophies, and practices. One day he “coincidentally” stumbled upon Ken Wilber‘s Spectrum of Consciousness in a Brazilian bookstore. He eventually shared his discovery with a long time friend (Moacyr Castellani) who later became a psychologist. Little did he know that a full circle would naturally complete almost 14 years later… Since that initial moment, Wilber became one of his main philosophical mentors, a refugee of order and clarity in the midst of random and often contradictory information. Being an INFP type (Myers-Briggs) and identifying himself as a number 4 in the Enneagram (with high 5, 7 and 1 traits), Moses‘ path has been one of great passion, inquiry, intensity and eventual surprises, including a life changing spiritual emergence he had when he was 23. After that sudden, groundbreaking and somewhat blessed (and scary) “state blow”, he had intermittent glimpses of his true nature, and gradually started to embody in a deeper way a sense of “being in the world, but not of the world”, a process of discovery and (re) integration that still continues to move throughout various layers and contexts in his life.

After many short visits to the US during the 1990s including a month long as a student at Esalen, he felt a strong call to move from Brazil and experience a new kind of life abroad. One change let to another and he started working for an architectural firm in Los Angeles in 2003. In 2005, feeling somewhat in crisis and willing for a radical transformation, Moses let himself trust in the “winds of change” again. In a synchronistic and unexpected event, the same friend who he had first introduced to Ken Wilber‘s work 14 years before was invited by him for a talk in Denver. Moses promptly asked him to join the chat, and in a gesture of gratitude, he (and Ken) agreed. Needless to say that was a quite transformative and memorable talk. Suddenly Moses faced a new dilemma: He could either follow an already nurturing idea of upgrading his artistic skills by pursuing a degree in computer graphics in a renowned school in Los Angeles (and start working for the movie & game industry) – or enroll in a Masters degree at JFK University, and finally “make official” his long time passion for human development and deep willing to work with people in more direct and proactive ways.

In his first week after moving to the Bay Area, he met the sweet soul that would eventually turn to be his wife 2 years later: Catherine Weber-Silbiger. Fortunately, “Kuty” shares many of his interests and passions, and both eventually became part of the first Integral Life Practice (ILP) group leaded by Terry Patten, and also students of the A.H. Almaas‘ Diamond Approach. After many years going through dynamics of short relationships and a tendency for “solo traveler”, Moses finally found a good match, and experienced a new integration in his “we” constellation. Together, they are planning new changes ahead… 

Moses eventually got his Masters Degree in Integral Psychology at John F. Kennedy University (JFK) in conjunction with an academic Certification in Life Coaching, supervised by Bert Parlee, Ph.D. As for his previous education and experience, he has a bachelor's degree in Architecture and a strong background in computer graphics design, art direction, and project management, having worked for the architectural, entertainment and advertising industry for several years. In 1997, he founded the company 3D2go! Inc. which later became Integral Look (www.integrallook.com). This combination of multi-disciplinary interests and skills established the core foundation for an ongoing exploration of current and alternative methods of integrating Psychology and Coaching into broader and deeper cross-disciplinary frameworks, which has been explored through his Integral Eye Coaching practice (www.integraleye.com).

In conjunction with his passion for technology – certainly inherited from his father – Moses‘ main passions, talents and interests ended up integrating in a organic and quite serendipitous way. Mentored by his teacher Sean Esbjorn-Hargens, Ph.D. - and later supported by other JFK teachers such as David Zeitler, Gail Hochachka and Charles Flores - he decided to pursue an Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP) Research exploring How to Design Video Games to Catalyze Human Development. The idea came out from a strong intuitive insight he had while reading Wilber‘s Integral Spirituality (2007) book, when he realized that entertainment, especially video games, could also be a very powerful vehicle to promote transformation through Wilber‘s concept of the Conveyor Belt of Growth. Moses‘ passion for video games started in the early 80s, moving through Pong, to Atari, to Intellivision, to VIC 20, to Commodore 64 - he eventually had access to 350 games at a point in time! - to a couple of PC games from the 90s. After a time gap of more than a decade, he recently re-discovered and gradually started to recover and integrate his “hibernated” (and repressed) passion for video games, which came full blown to the foreground when he realized the immense developmental potentials of this new and unprecedented media, especially if designed and in skilful and integrally oriented ways.

His research project gradually gained a whole unexpected momentum and started to align in an exquisite way with a deep and higher sense of purpose and “calling”, pretty much like a process of soul retrieval allied with a Bodhisattva vow. Moses has already been invited to present his work in three academic conferences – The Integral Theory Conference (JFK University and Integral Institute, 2008) where his paper was awarded with an honorable mention; the Games + Learning + Society 4.0 Conference (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008); and the Meaningful Play Conference (Michigan State University, 2008). Besides having articles published at the JFK newsletter (Sumer, 2008) and Digital Designer Magazine (July 2008), he was also invited for an AQAL Journal conference call with Ken Wilber (February 2008) in the beginning of his research, and more recently to an Integral Naked interview (August 2008), among various upcoming projects. With the support of many mentors, guides, teachers, family, wife, friends and colleagues, Moses intends be an instrument for the manifestation of a novel, playful and proactive (and potentially revolutionary) generation of developmental video games, which will ideally - and gradually - embrace all aspects of the AQAL model and Integral Life Practice, allied with the concept of Integral Play (Gwen Gordon and Sean Esbjorn-Hargens, 2007). As one of their main potential applications, Moses envisions video games being used by all kinds of teachers, mentors, coaches and even religious leaders, potentially facilitating a mass development of a broad range of population through the Conveyor Belt of growth, especially from red/amber to orange altitudes and beyond. By doing that, players from various backgrounds and contexts will be able to experience all kinds of growth through the exquisite “big three” interface of aesthetics (beautiful), human development (good) and technology (true), allied with the sheer joy of play!

As for August 2008, Moses has been involved in the process of writing his first video game script and also an upcoming book on the subject of developmental video games, assembling the various insights and ideas gathered during his academic research and ongoing explorations. In the meantime, he is also looking forward to creating potential partnerships with specialized consultants, agents, academics, game writers and designers - as well as investors and video game companies interested in manifesting these emergent developmental potentials through novel and creative video game applications. By creating more healthy, useful and proactive entertainment experiences, Moses believes we can create a better world for all of us to live, play and enjoy, in both virtual and real ways. As the old Jewish prophet Hillel used to say, “if not now, when?” - which he adds: “If not us, who”?

Moses has appeared on Integral Naked:

Video Games and the Future of Interactive Entertainment.  Part 2.  Leveling Up.10/27/2008
The Singularity: Rupture or Rapture? 9/3/2008
Video Games and the Future of Interactive Entertainment.  Part 1.  Trojan Horses.8/25/2008

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