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Some ideas for the evaluation of cross media interaction
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Some ideas for the evaluation of cross media interaction

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workshop Crossmedia and Games, during the ACE conference, Saltzburg June 2007

workshop Crossmedia and Games, during the ACE conference, Saltzburg June 2007

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Some ideas for the evaluation of cross media interaction Some ideas for the evaluation of cross media interaction Presentation Transcript

  • SOME IDEAS FOR THE EVALUATION OF CROSS MEDIA INTERACTION Valentina Rao www.factorygirl.org www.factorygirl.org/gamesacrossmedia
  • Cross media interaction is heterogeneous
    • While obvious, this notion is rarely remembered when it comes to evaluation matters
    • Analysis of cross media messages or products are split between different departments, often without intelligence between separated research areas
  • Many parts don’t always make a whole
    • TV (ethnographic research, audience studies, telemetric measures)
    • iTV (all of the above plus usability research)
    • Web and ambient media (usability research)
    • Mobile/mobile TV (audience tracking, consumer behaviour analysis)
    • Console games (all of the above)
  • Specificity of cross media interaction
    • To develop an evaluation system considering interaction with cross media message in its wholeness and not as a collection of bits and pieces, instead of focusing on the platform we focus on the specificities of the interaction:
    • Calls for actions (primer, referral, reward) ( Dena2005 )
    • Openings for participatory actions
    • Embedded threads for the development of non-linear narrative
    • Narrated (virtual) world expanding towards real world and vice versa
  • Why cross media in relation to games?
    • Cross media communication shares many of its elements with the game experience, among which:
    • It requires an (inter)active attitude, analogue to the attitude of play, between paidia and ludus (Callois)
    • It can bring deep feelings and emotions to the surface (like for instance trust or rage)
    • Like games, it is an “experience”, the perception of an event or series of events performed in a fictional set over a more or less definite time
    • Analogy with games can help cross media out of confused terminology and chaotic methodology
  • Evaluation of cross media as a whole rather than a cluster of fragments can be seen in a new light if we consider it in relation to the notions of gameplay and experience
  • What is gameplay ?
    • Gameplay is:
    • “ What the player does”; used to describe the overall experience of playing the game, excluding the factors of graphics, sound, and the storyline. Also the most important indicator of the quality of a game (Wikipedia)
    • Gameplay is the quality of player’s interaction, its pace and cognitive demands (C.Crawford)
    • The events resulting from the application of the rules to the gameworld (E.Aarseth)
  • Gameplay as immersion and activity
    • Gameplay is a situation (the events created in the fictional world by the actions of the user) but is also a cognitive state; it is immersive in the sense that requires focused attention (Csikszentmihalyi)
    • Gameplay is an activity: the player’s actions and feelings are in focus, all while depending on the challenges of the game
  • What is experience ?
    • Cross media is often defined as “experience” because it is difficult to define otherwise; unfortunately, the term experience is much used and abused in many different fields and its meaning is not clear. Waiting to find new terms to describe cross media, let’s make the term “experience” clearer.
    • Experience is:
    • A philosophical concept
    • A marketing concept
    • The subject of design
    • The object of usability studies
  • Experience in philosophy
    • According to philosophy, experience is:
    • Knowledge of the particular (Aristotles)
    • Dialectic process modifying our knowledge and skills (Hegel)
    • A matter of sensibility (Locke, Russell)
    • Conceptually structured (Kant)
    • Foundation of all theories (Carnap)
    • Basis of all refutations (Popper)
    • Always modified by media and technology, thus historically contingent (Lyotard, Latour)
  • experience as design concept
    • In common knowledge, the term “experience” gained a bad reputation as a hazy, intuitive concept for designers
    • Nathan Shedroff’s definition of experience in experience design :
    • ” The sensation of interaction with a product, service, or event, through all our senses, over time, and on both physical and cognitive levels. The boundaries of an experience can be expansive and include the sensorial, the symbolic, the temporal, and the meaningful.”
  • Experience as a marketing term
    • Experience is also a term commonly used in marketing to define highly interactive thus engaging products, like 3D games, cross media systems or simply interactive products when proposed to unsophisticated audiences
    • In alternative, experience defines (more correctly) visually immersive products such as 3D games again, virtual reality and Imax films
    • In other cases, experience indicated the possibility of action in a fictional world, usually coinciding with a brand (Disney/play, buy; MacDonald, Hard Rock Cafe’/eat; Diesel, Levis/be cool, buy clothes)
  • Experience as a product
    • Experience economy considers “experience” as a product
    • “ commodities are fungible materials extracted from the natural world;
    • goods are tangible products that companies standardize and then inventory;
    • services are intangible activities performed for a particular client;
    • experiences are events that engage individuals in a personal way ” (Pine&Gillmore,1997)
    • In 2005 “ experiences ”, category including cross media productions, represented the 24% of the whole US economy
  • Experience as immersion and activity (1)
    • Once clarified what are the various meanings of the term “experience”, we can find the nuance that is more useful to the development of an analysis of experience, in the sense of the subtle relationship between user, events and interaction between the two
    • D. Norman qualifies experience as related to activity and emotion
    • Today’s techniques for analyzing experience rely more or less on:
    • Usability research (activity tracking,observation, focus groups,etc)
    • Ethnographic tools (interviews,questionnaires)
    • Verbal/facial reactions
    • Physiological measures ( galvanic skin response, cardiovascular and respiratory measures, eye tracking)
  • Experience as immersion and activity (2)
    • As does gameplay analysis, “experience tracking” needs to consider:
    • actions/reactions of the subject
    • structure of the experience (CFAs, time&space pattern , challenge/skills relationship, “architecture of participation”)
    • the output of actions within the organized event
  • Conclusions: GAMEPLAY = EXPERIENCE ?
    • If gameplay consists in the effects of the application of rules in virtual environments, can experience (as a commercial product) consist in the application of rules in the real world?
    • Concept of gameplay in connection with that of “experience” can dispel the fuzziness of the term; term “experience” useful because the only one to describe cross media
    • Lines of action: develop a framework to define experience in its various parts and stages; develop evaluation tools departing from experience keeping in mind emotion analysis (especially when applied to games) and activity tracking and design; investigate further the relationship between gaming experience and cross media experience
  • THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION!