Viewpoints AI: Procedurally Representing and Reasoning about Gestures

Jacob Mikhail Zook Alexander Magerko Brian
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

Viewpoints is a contemporary theatrical composition technique for understanding the expressive powers of gesture used to formally describe a dance performance or theatrical movement (Bogart 2005). We describe a computational system that integrates a gesture-based interface (Kinect), theatrical aesthetics framework (Viewpoints), AI reasoning architecture (Soar), and visualized embodiment of the AI participant (Processing) to explore novel forms of meaningful co-creative theatrical interaction in an interactive installation piece. Providing this ability to reason about a gesture’s meaning enables game designers to explore novel ways for players to communicate with intelligent game agents. Toward this end, we describe our prototype for live interaction with a projected virtual agent in an interactive installation piece.


Stanislavky’s System as a Game Design Method: A Case Study

Manero Borja Fernández-Vara Clara Fernández-Manjón Baltasar
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

The relationship between theatre and games has been repeatedly discussed (Laurel 1993; Murray 1997; Frasca 2004; El-Nasr 2007;Fernández-Vara 2009), but its possibilities have not been explored in enough depth. This paper goes beyond a theoretical proposal, and describes how Stanislavski’s acting method (1959) served as the inspiration to design a game based on the Spanish classical theatre play, La Dama Boba (The Foolish Lady). The result was a point-and-click adventure game developed with the eAdventure platform, (Torrente, del Blanco, Marchiori, Moreno-Ger, Fernandez-Manjon 2010) a tool to create educational games. The paper provides an overview of the most and least successful aspects of this design method, and how it helped transform a narrative, dramatic in this case, into a digital game.


Uncle Roy all around you: mixing games and theatre on the city streets

Flintham Martin Anastasi Rob Benford Steven Drozd Adam Mathrick James Rowland Duncan Oldroyd Amanda Sutton Jon Tandavanitj Nick Adams Matt Row-Farr Ju
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

We describe Uncle Roy All Around You, a mixture of game and theatre that took place in central London in late May and early June of 2003. Street players, equipped with handheld computers and wireless networking, journeyed through the streets of the city in search of an elusive character called Uncle Roy, while online players journeyed through a parallel 3D model of the city, were able to track their progress and could communicate with them in order to help or hinder them. We describe how Uncle Roy All Around You mixed elements of pre-programmed game content with live performance and behind the scenes orchestration to create a compelling experience, especially for street players. We suggest that finding ways to scale this approach to support larger numbers of participants is an important challenge for future research.


Play’s the Thing: A Framework to Study Videogames as Performance

Fernández-Vara Clara
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

Performance studies deals with human action in context, as well as the process of making meaning between the performers and the audience. This paper presents a framework to study videogames as a performative medium, applying terms from performance studies to videogames both as software and as games. This performance framework for videogames allows us to understand how videogames relate to other performance activities, as well as understand how they are a structured experience that can be designed. Theatrical performance is the basis of the framework, because it is the activity that has the most in common with games. Rather than explaining games in terms of ‘interactive drama,’ the parallels with theatre help us understand the role of players both as performers and as audience, as well as how the game design shapes the experience. The theatrical model also accounts for how videogames can have a spectatorship, and how the audience may have an effect on gameplay.