<Originally published at MediaCatalyst blog>
There are some pretty interesting developments in human-computer interaction and interactivity concerning emotions.
One is the growing initiative in trying to measure the emotional impact of the web, one of the key topics in the CHI-Nederland organised conference that the EA (Experience Architecture Team) attended about a week ago. The speaker, Marco van Hout proposed that since Web 2.0 has shifted the focus from information to experience, companies should also start looking into measuring the emotional impact of Web 2.0 experiences. He presented the LEMTool (Layered Emotional Tool), which was developed for use on a company’s website, product or environment. The LEMTool will enable organisations to gain more insights on the emotional experience and incoporate the results in the design process.
The second one – which I personally find more interesting and more relevant — is about NPCs (non-player characters in games) as emotional interface.
I came across a presentation of Mark Meadows (a.k.a pighed – portrait artist, writer, engineer, developer, gamer, owner of an avatar company, ‘leads designers into burning buildings and lead them out again’), wherein he talks about the role of non-playing characters (NPCs) in mediating and measuring emotions. His basic conclusion is:
“Because humans are emotional animals, we must interface with emotional machines.
The next step is to combine existing technologies and interweaving those into new stories and interface.”
Machines or websites gaining tangible emotional dimensions — I am thrilled by this perspective. This development is gaining even more ground outside the framework of websites with the creation of various interactive artifacts. I do believe that this is the next stage in the evolution of interactive narratives — definitely something for MC to play around with.
The Emotion Machine called NPC – presentation:
HeadCase Humanufacturing: http://www.headcaselabs.com/index.php (The business of avatars is also something we ought to look into more closely .)
Pighed’s Headcase blog: http://blog.headcaselabs.com/ (interesting stuff for think ‘n’ stinkers)
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