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Interactions: Lessons Learned


Our Interactions

Scene 1

For every other heartbeat a tulip would bloom. Volunteers had their own tulip color.
Touching would cause the sky to darken
and the rain to increase.

Scene 2

The brightness of the painting would pulse with each heartbeat.
Touching caused the center of the painting to bulge outwards.

Scene 3

Every fourth heartbeat would cause the water to ripple out in rings on their side of the screen.
Touching changed the
brightness of the moon.


Goals for players in an interactive play:

- Experiment

Players may want to explore an interactive piece through experimentation if they are
not sure exactly how they will affect the world. VM#1 was mainly this type of interaction.

- Control static elements in the production

Players, knowing how their interactions work, are motivated to effect non-script elements
in the play, such as sound and virtual sets. VM#1 had some of this type of interaction.

- Change the dramatic story

Players want to reshape the story based on their interactions and their own internal goals.
VM#1 had none of this type of interaction.


How players learn to interact in a meaningful way:

- Metaphors

These interactions are very natural and intuitive, because they relate interactions to past
real world experience.

- Direct Teaching

Complex and unituitive interactions sometimes need to be tought through instruction.

- Practice

Complex interactions are easier to perform with a greater degree of success through
practice. VM#1 had a "rehearsal" period at the beginning of each play, so the players could
become comfortable with their interactions.


Virtual Mediation #1 Interaction Summary

- Great interaction interfaces, but poor metaphors
- Reliance on "Direct Teaching" and "Practice" for players to interact in a fulfilling way

- Interaction feedback was too subtle for the player

- Players embraced the interactivity and had a fulfilling experience