Staying there: an activity-based approach to narrative design and evaluation as an antidote to virtual corpsing

T. Marsh

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

    Abstract

    Interactive mediated environments (e.g. virtual reality/environments, computer games, the Internet, multi-media, interactive television) have the potential to induce experience in users. Engagement, involvement, agency, immersion and presence are widely used terms to describe the situation in which the inducement of experience in users of these media occurs. Implied in these terms is that experience presupposes that participants are absorbed in the illusion of interacting within the context created by these media. Without absorption, users' attention is shifted from the mediated to the real world, disrupting the illusion. Deriving from an acting term (UK) to denote falling out of character, virtual corpsing is used to describe this shift in attention. So instead of talking about `being there' this chapter focuses on maintaining the illusion and is referred to herein as staying there. This is a consequence of two things, firstly, transparency of equipment and secondly, continuity of interacting within the social and cultural environment depicted virtually. Extending concepts from activity theory, this chapter describes a conceptual framework to inform and guide analysis and design of interactive mediated environments. To this end, models and tools are developed in which to reason about human practice and experience in mediated environments from low-level operations through actions/tasks to a holistic activity-based scenario/narrative perspective characterised by objective and motive. The degree to which objective outcome coincides with the motive that stimulates the user to a mediated encounter provides a measure of success. Furthermore, stimulating mediated encounters may generate new motives, encouraging users to stay there.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBeing there : concepts, effects and measurements of user presence in synthetic environments
    EditorsG. Riva, F. Davide, W.A. IJsselsteijn
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherIOS Press
    Pages85-96
    ISBN (Print)1-58603-301-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Publication series

    NameEmerging communication : studies in new technologies and practices in communication
    Volume5
    ISSN (Print)1566-7677

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