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Smiljana Antonijevic - Second Life, Second Body

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Lecture from the BEST Summer Course "REAL IT: From Academia to Industry" (Nis, Serbia) in July 2008.

Lecture from the BEST Summer Course "REAL IT: From Academia to Industry" (Nis, Serbia) in July 2008.

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  • 1. Second Life, Second Body Nonverbal Communication in Multiuser, 3D Virtual Environments Smiljana Antonijevi ć Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences BEST, Nis July 22, 2008
  • 2. Overview
    • Why Second Life ?
    • Why nonverbal communication?
    • Computer-mediated nonverbal communication
      • orientation of correspondence
      • orientation of autonomy
    • Second Life, Second Body
      • digital nonverbal act as: communicative device; socio-cultural phenomenon; new media object
      • six-month long observational study
      • structural and functional analyses
      • digital nonverbal act: an epistemic tool juxtaposed with users’ agency; computer-mediated nonverbal behavior: a field of tension between the User discourse and the Designer discourse.
  • 3. Why Second Life?
    • Internet-based, multiuser virtual environment
    • Launched in 2003; 13 million accounts (March, 2008)
    • Capitol Hill, BBC, Harvard, IBM, NASA, Toyota, The Second Louvre Museum, Barack Obama …
    • The future of online communication
  • 4.  
  • 5. Why Nonverbal Communication?
    • “… all of the ways in which communication is effected between persons when in each other’s presence, by means other than words.” (Kendon, 1981:3).
    • Communicative use of: body ( kinescis ), space ( proxemics ) , artifacts ( objectics ) , touch ( haptics ) , voice ( vocalics ) …
    • The first communicative ability a person develops.
    • Two thirds of behavior in dyadic interaction.
  • 6. Gesture
  • 7.
    • Facial Expressions
  • 8. Artifacts
  • 9. Dress
  • 10. Interpersonal Distance
  • 11.  
  • 12. Why Nonverbal Communication?
    • “… all of the ways in which communication is effected between persons when in each other’s presence, by means other than words.” (Kendon, 1981:3).
    • Communicative use of: body ( kinescis ), space ( proxemics ) , artifacts ( objectics ) , touch ( haptics ) , voice ( vocalics ) …
    • The first communicative ability a person develops.
    • Two thirds of behavior in dyadic interaction.
  • 13. Why Nonverbal Communication?
    • “… all of the ways in which communication is effected between persons when in each other’s presence, by means other than words.” (Kendon, 1981:3).
    • Communicative use of: body ( kinescis ), space ( proxemics ) , artifacts ( objectics ) , touch ( haptics ) , voice ( vocalics ) …
    • The first communicative ability a person develops.
    • Two thirds of behavior in dyadic interaction.
  • 14. Digital Nonverbal Communication
    • Wiener (1948), parallels between electrical communication systems and human nervous system, perception, and motion; cybernetics: communicative rather than expressive aspects of nonverbal behavior.
    • Computer Sciences; Internet Studies; Social Sciences; Communication Studies.
    • The orientation of correspondence
      • aims to identify the corresponding patterns in the perception and use of physical and digital nonverbal cues.
    • The orientation of autonomy
      • aspires to recognize the distinctiveness of digital nonverbal behavior.
  • 15. The Orientation of Correspondence
    • Kiesler et al . (1984); cues-filtered-out approach
    • Bates (1994); a believable agent – a believable illusion of life.
    • Guye-Vuilleme et al. (1999); Virtual Life Network -- mimetic system design, tries to represent social cues from the physical world, as literally as possible, in the digital domain.
    • Fabri et al. (2002) ; nonverbal abilities of human-like agents the essence of their capacity for behavioral resemblance.
    • Allbeck and Balder (2002) ; PARSYS program – generates realistic movement through dynamic simulation.
    • Yee et al. (2007); people behave according to the same social rules in both physical and virtual worlds; it is possible to study social interaction in virtual environments and generalize about social interaction in the “real world”.
  • 16. The Orientation of Autonomy
    • Haraway (1991); the fusion between the human body and technological devices .
    • Emoticons ( Rivera et al. 1996; Walther et al. 2001; Riva 2002 ).
    • Erickson and Kellog (2000); abstract design approach; digital representation of nonverbal cues that are not closely tied to their physical analogs.
    • Talamo and Ligorio (2000); the construction of identity in “Euroland”.
    • Walther et al. (2005); social information processing theory.
    • Munster (2006); to think through what the experience of having a body means in information cultur e, our understanding of the body must be reconsidered.
  • 17.
    • Communicative Device
    • Digital Nonverbal Act
    • Cultural Phenomena New Media Object
  • 18. Digital Nonverbal Act as a Communicative Device
    • Origin : the way in which a certain nonverbal act has become part of a person’s nonverbal repertoire.
    • Coding : the principle of correspondence between the act and its meaning.
    • Usage : circumstances under which a nonverbal act occurs.
    • Functions : communicative functions of nonverbal cues in human interaction.
  • 19. Digital Nonverbal Act as a Cultural Phenomenon
    • Marcel Mauss , Techniques of the Body
      • Not: natural; culturally universal; individual.
      • Learned through “prestigious imitation”; shaped and legitimized by the social authority.
    • Mary Douglas, The Physical and the Social Body
      • Consonance among the semiotic systems; the use of the body synchronized with other means of expression.
      • The forms of bodily control correspond to the forms of societal control; both types of control stem from the same cultural premises.
    • Pierre Bourdieu, Habitus and Body Hexis
        • Body hexis the basis of habitus; functions beyond the oral and/or the written discourse.
        • Theory of practice; a scientific model of practice can never account for all the instances that can and do happen in practice; a practical activity never actually has the form represented in a scientific model.
  • 20. Digital Nonverbal Act as a New Media Object
    • Lev Manovich (2001); the principles of New Media objects
      • numerical representation
      • modularity
      • automation
      • variability
      • transcoding
    • Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza (2005); Semiotic Engineering
      • human-computer interaction as a process of continuous meaning-exchange between the new media object designers and the new media objects users
      • new media objects as intellectual and metacommunicative artifacts
      • the design structure of new media objects determines both the available and the appropriate forms of users’ interaction
  • 21. Methodology
    • 6 months long ethnographic study (October 2006-March 2007)
    • 108 Second Life locations selected in a non-structured manner
    • Short behavioral episodes
    • 843 episodes of naturally occurring user interaction
    • Blaze Media Pro software
    • Analysis focused on proxemic and kinesic cues (interpersonal distance, body orientation, posture, gesture)
  • 22. Structural Analysis
    • Classification of nonverbal cues in Second Life
      • User-Defined Cues
      • Predefined Cues
      • Blended Cues
      • Missing Cues
  • 23. User-Defined Cues
    • The user deliberately performs and individually encodes a nonverbal act.
    • Proxemic cues (interpersonal distance, body orientation).
    • Important role: communicating interactional intent; structuring interaction; sending relational messages.
    • Closely related with co-occurring textual discourse.
    • Not significantly correlated with the users’ physical appearance (human or other) and gender, or with the communicative context.
  • 24. Signaling interactional intent
  • 25. Signaling interactional intent
  • 26. Signaling interactional intent Can I steal a dance?
  • 27. Signaling interactional intent
  • 28. Signaling interactional intent
  • 29. Signaling interactional intent
  • 30. Signaling interactional intent Hi Lucy
  • 31. Signaling interactional intent
  • 32. Signaling interactional intent
  • 33. Signaling interactional intent Hi
  • 34. User-defined cues: sending relational messages
  • 35. User-defined cues: sending relational messages
  • 36. User-defined cues: sending relational messages
  • 37. User-defined cues: sending relational messages
  • 38. User-defined cues: sending relational messages
  • 39. Predefined Cues
    • System generated and encoded nonverbal acts.
    • Kinesic cues (hand movement, gaze, posture).
    • Indicate communicative activity; mimic interactional synchrony.
    • Unrelated with co-occurring textual discourse.
    • Not related with the users’ physical appearance (human or other) and gender, or with the communicative context.
  • 40. Predefined cues: indicating communicative activity
  • 41. Predefined cues: indicating communicative activity
  • 42. Predefined cues: indicating communicative activity
  • 43. Predefined cues: mimicking interactional synchrony
  • 44. Predefined cues: mimicking interactional synchrony
  • 45. Blended Cues
    • The user deliberately performs a nonverbal act but does not encode it.
    • Kinesic and proxemic cues.
    • Simulate various communicative functions.
    • Highly context and gender dependent.
    • Often in collision with co-occurring textual discourse.
  • 46.  
  • 47.  
  • 48.  
  • 49.  
  • 50.  
  • 51.  
  • 52.  
  • 53.  
  • 54.  
  • 55. Hi, V
  • 56.  
  • 57.  
  • 58.  
  • 59.  
  • 60. Hi
  • 61.  
  • 62. How are you?
  • 63. Please May I?
  • 64.  
  • 65.
    • Digital nonverbal act: an epistemic tool juxtaposed with user agency.
    • Double objectification of digital nonverbal behavior; a nonverbal act becomes a new media object .
    • Digital nonverbal behavior: field of tension between the User discourse and the Design discourse.
    • User discourse: the virtual body augments the user’s physical body and acts in a way called for by a particular interactional situation. Design discourse: the virtual body is acted upon in a way called for by the system epistemology and pragmatics.
    • T he design discourse is detached from actual practice of user interaction and linked to abstract, precoded practice built into the system .
    • U ser discourse realized through users’ interaction with current capacities and limitations of the system ; confluence between technology and the user.
  • 66.
    • Questions?
    • Smiljana Antonijevic
    • [email_address]