Computers in Entertainment

Published by Association for Computing Machinery
Publications
Creative card: “When a problem with a technical device occurs...” 
The PCP package (left) and a participating family playing and writing answers on the notepad (right). 
Creative cultural probe package with disposable camera. 
Several remote controls in one household; the one on the right has been fixed with a glue strip several times. 
Intelligent door bell with fingerprint created with modeling clay. 
Investigating the context home becomes more and more necessary for future developments of interactive TV services and of new interaction techniques. In this paper, findings from two ethnographic studies are presented. In these studies a new methodological variation of cultural probing called creative cultural probing (CCP) was developed. The aim of our research was to investigate activities and interaction techniques in the living room and beyond. In this paper, the results of the studies are presented and some major trends for the home context are highlighted. The studies indicate that supporting social interaction and personal activities as well as personalization, security and communication needs have to be addressed in the future more thoroughly.
 
One day filled with the convergence of computers and entertainment
 
The Liemandt Foundation, a nonprofit family foundation focused on promoting technology-enabled education, launched on September 18, 2003 a college student video game development contest with a twist -- students are being challenged to build entertaining games that "secretly" teach middle school subjects.The contest, online at www.hiddenagenda.com, focuses on the notion of "stealth education" in gaming, pushing students to create primarily entertaining games that also teach science and math topics such as forces, statistics, or the solar system. Students have complete freedom in their game designs. They may work in teams of up to eight people, can build the games on and for any platform, and may use existing engines if they choose. Games will be judged in May 2004, with five finalist teams flying to Austin, Texas for their final shot at the $25,000 prize.Advising the contest are experts such as Ultima creator and gaming legend Richard Garriott and educational game visionary Marc Prensky, and the project is affiliated with the Digital Media Collaboratory at the University of Texas. "There is no doubt in my mind that college students can create the next breakthrough educational video game," says Garriott. Prensky agrees, "I look forward to watching these motivated and creative students break through the barriers of historically boring learning games." Among the many benefits of challenging college students to build the game is the notion that once these students enter the professional game development community, they will understand the importance and potential of stealth education.While all submitted games must fulfill teaching and technical requirements to be considered, final judging is based on 70% entertainment and 30% educational value. The uneven split in judging criteria is crucial. In the past, educational games have failed because no matter how well they taught, kids just weren't motivated to absorb information. Children will only learn from the games they want to play.
 
In this special issue on games and pervasive gaming, the Interviews column features video interviews with two of our distinguished advisory board members, Ken Goldstein (May 16, 2005) and Seamus Blackley (May 13, 2005).
 
Multimedia is usually defined as the combination of text, graphics, full-motion video, and sound into an integrated application. The final frontier, sound, which includes general-purpose audio, music, and speech, is an integral, but often neglected, component of the field. Traditionally, the audio and the image research communities have developed independently, and almost in perfect isolation one with another. Even though there exist many important audio conferences and societies, general venues such as the ACM Multimedia Conference still attract relatively low participation from the audio and music community. Our goal is to set a new trend of active contribution by the audio and music community through the initiating of a workshop on Audio and Music Computing for Multimedia (AMCMM), specifically targeted to researchers in this community.
 
Welcome to ACM Computers in Entertainment, a unique magazine featuring video interviews with leading professionals and interesting articles on entertainment technology and its applications.
 
The growing availability of digital contents and the simultaneous cost reductions in storage, processing, and networking is driving the growth of the entertainment technology. While in the past entertainment technology traditionally offered predominantly passive experiences, continual advances in network and computer technologies are providing tools for implementing greater interactivity and for enabling consumers to enjoy more exciting experiences, such as, for example, interactive digital TV, interactive theatre and orchestrated music and sound design. This phenomenon is pulling together an extremely diverse group of experts specializing in different technical areas, such as networking, computer graphics, artificial intelligence, games, animation, multimedia design, human-computer interaction, educational media and software engineering. Even though high-tech entertainment promotes interdisciplinary fusion, yet only the ubiquity of wireless/wired communication is considered suitable for accepting the challenge of building a large interactive environment for the delivery of the maximum entertainment value to millions of consumers worldwide. In this respect, there is a great hope that the wired and wireless may take over this complex scenario for fulfilling the consumer expectations. The second IEEE International Workshop on Networking Issues in Multimedia Entertainment provides an open forum for researchers, engineers and academia to exchange the latest technical information and research findings on next-generation networked multimedia concepts, technologies, systems, and applications for entertainment covering existing deployments, current developments and future evolution.
 
Khronos is pleased to announce the launch of the OpenGL ES 1.1 Coding Challenge. The contest will run in conjunction with the Khronos Developer University events beginning in Helsinki on Sept 17, 2004. The purpose of the contest is to create a library of sample code and applications for hardware accelerated OpenGL ES games, demos and screensavers that make people stop and stare with their mouths wide open, asking "That's running on a cell phone!?"
 
Seamus Blackley is an agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Prior to CAA, Seamus joined Microsoft in 1999 and piloted the creation of the Xbox game platform. After Microsoft, Blackley and a group of his Xbox business partners launched Capital Entertainment Group. In the video interview, you will hear Seamus' answers to the following questions:1. You are the co-creator of the Xbox. How did you come up with the Xbox idea and what did you do to make it a reality?2. What do you think about the new Xbox 360 that is both a gaming console and a digital entertainment hub?3. What role does the Creative Artists Agency play in the computer gaming industry?4. How do you encourage game publishers and developers to create more original and more creative games?5. How do you manage the financial risk of producing a high-budget game in the highly competitive gaming market?6. How important is the multiplayer online component for a successful game?7. Combining video games and physical fitness is a form of "exergaming." What other types of gaming do you envision we will have in the future?8. What will take computer games to the next new level?
 
Bill Kinder is the Director of Editorial and Postproduction at the Pixar Animation Studios. He is also the DVD Producer for Pixar movies, including the Academy award-winning films "The Incredibles (2004)" and "Finding Nemo (2003)," which earned the honor of being the fastest selling DVD and video of all time. Prior to joining Pixar in 1996, Bill was the Director of Facilities at American Zoetrope in San Francisco. There he coordinated sound and picture post production on numerous feature films (including "Jack," "Mi Familia," and "Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey"), introduced innovations in Francis Coppola's Electronic Storyboard Department, and oversaw the film-to-tape transfers of dailies. He has also directed an Emmy-nominated documentary, produced television news, and edited commercials. Bill studied film, sound, and photography at Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of East Anglia.
 
Masa Inakage is a professor of the Faculty of Environmental Information at Keio University, president of the Media Studio, a member of ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee, and a member of Visual Effects Society. Masa produced the digital visual effects for the Hollywood feature film Spawn for the first time in Japan. In addition, he has published a large number of artworks at SIGGRAPH and other exhibitions worldwide as a media artist. In research, he has established both the Digital Cinema Laboratory and Digital Cinema Consortium at Keio Research Institute. Masa served a co-director with Mark Dippe for the digital short film Magick Lesson, which has been shown at various international film festivals. In the video interview, you will hear Masa's answers to the following questions:1. You have published a large number of artworks at ACM SIGGRAPH and other exhibitions worldwide, what is your art style and what is your favorite piece of creation?2. What is the future of artistic expression? More 3D arts or something entirely new?3. How do you compare and contrast Japanese animation vs American animation?4. What is the future of Digital Cinema? What do you do to advance its technology and business models?5. What are some of the interesting research that you are currently working on?
 
Ken Goldstein is executive vice president and managing director of Disney Online (http://corporate.disney.go.com/wdig/bios/ken_goldstein.html). Prior to joining Disney in November 1998, Ken served as Broderbund Software's vice president of entertainment and founding general manager of the company's Red Orb Entertainment division. In the video interview, you will hear what Ken says about:1. Can you tell us about the multiplayer online game, Toontown Online, and the new game, Pirates of the Caribbean Online?2. Do children play multiplayer online games differently than adults?3. What are the challenges for the children's games market as opposed to the traditional gamers market?4. How will multiplayer online games reach beyond the traditional gamers?5. What is the future of "edutainment," combining gaming and education for children?6. Combining video games and physical fitness is a form of "exergaming". What other types of gaming do you envision we will have in the future?7. What will take computer games to the next new level?8. With online games, videos on demand, and IPTV, what is the future of the Internet for entertainment use?
 
An interview with Stelarc, an Australian-based performance artist who incorporates themes of cyborgization and other human-machine interfaces in his work, and has explored the increasingly malleable relations between the body and technology, is presented. Stelarc is on the lookout for new performance stages, virtual, conceptual, and biological, where conditions of embodiment can be enacted and explored. He will answer some questions in an video interview, which includes his collaborative 2005 work with Nina Sellars, Blender, a shift from the immateriality of the virtual to the materiality of the physical, dealing with the visceral nature of bodily matter. He will also answer his interests about the zombie as a philosophical and technological concept and how does he see these works operating as a kind of zombie aesthetic.
 
City of Seattle and World Cyber Games Announce Seattle will host 2007 World Cyber Games Grand FinalOver 700 Video Gamers from 70 countries expectedWorld Cyber GamesThe World Cyber Games (WCG) is an annual global game culture festival that was founded in 2000 to promote global harmony through e-sports. With the slogan "Beyond the Game," the World Cyber Games has truly developed into a global game phenomenon with arguably the largest prize amount at stake. The World Cyber Games prides itself on leading the "Digital Entertainment Culture." The WCG 2006 will be held on October 18-22, 2006 in Monza, Italy. More information at: www.worldcybergames.com.
 
Tina Blaine is a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center. Tina uses science and technology to explore new interface designs for gaming, collective music-making and interactive media with her graduate students. As a musical interactivist at Interval Research, she led a development team in the creation of a collaborative audiovisual instrument known as the Jam-O-Drum, now on permanent exhibit at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. An energetic composer and multiinstrumentalist, she has written music for NPR, video games, TV and documentary soundtracks. In the video interview, you will hear Tina's answers to the following questions: 1. What do you think about future human-computer interface in interactive media? 2. What do you think about using artificial intelligence to create new music or to mimic famous composers? 3. How do you see the future of music in 10 years? More new instruments, new sounds, or something entirely different? 4. If you have a 10-million dollar research fund to do anything you like, what would you do? 5. You are very much involved in volunteer service and community outreach, what is your favorite volunteer work?
 
The British Broadcasting Corporation's websites, in English and in the 33 languages broadcast on the BBC World Service, are among the most powerful online providers of content -- in particular news and current affairs information -- on the internet. But as the level of individual users' internet usage and sophistication grows, BBC.co.uk is looking to advance its methods of getting this content to people beyond the provision of one simple one-size-fits-all website. Tools such as RSS feeds and desktop news alerts began the process, which, driven by a Creative Futures programme and a set of 15 "web principles", has now expanded to include the establishment of presences in, and utilisation of, Second Life, YouTube and MySpace. Meanwhile new deals allowing for content to be distributed more widely are being announced virtually on a monthly basis. But what are the implications of such moves? Should a publicly-funded broadcaster be involved to such an extent with private interests? Is this extension of BBC News into these areas likely to attract further complaints from private media broadcasters who argue they are marginalised by the BBC"s subsidised clout? And will it leave those with limited or no ability or interest in the new interactive world underserved - or neglected altogether?
 
More Than One Million Gamers Expected To Participate Worldwide Finals of World's Top Digital Entertainment Event To Be Held This October in San Francisco First Online Qualifying Events In U.S. and Canada "Go Live" May 15 Los Angeles, CA -- San Francisco will be the world's Cyber capital this coming October when Samsung Electronics, a global digital entertainment leader, brings the World Cyber Games (WCG) Grand Final to the U.S. for the first time. The tournament, which has grown into the greatest global festival for gamers and digital entertainment culture, will allow 700 of the world's best gamers from 60 countries to compete for the #1 position at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, October 4-10. The announcement was made at the E3 show in Los Angeles. In addition to holding the finals in the U.S., the World Cyber Games 2004 and Samsung are giving more gamers than ever a chance to win $400,000 in prizes via the Internet. For the first time ever, beginning May 15, 2004, an extensive roster of WCG online qualifier events will be held in the U.S. and Canada each month through August. Online competition will include four world renowned games -- Half-Life: Counter-Strike (team-based), Unreal Tournament 2004, Starcraft: Brood War, and Warcraft III: Frozen Throne - and the top 2 players or teams in each game in each country advance directly to the WCG 2004 USA Final and WCG 2004 Canada Final. Casual gamers can also join in the excitement by logging on to play special Samsung-developed Flash games.
 
Artists and educators using immersive virtual reality are interested in creating content for the general public. Such activity has always existed alongside hard-core VR research. Publicly-accessible VR presents difficulties not faced in research with small groups of knowledgeable users or in industrial VR applications. We believe these problems must be addressed to bring VR to the public: This workshop will connect researchers with those who use VR in the public realm, document what has been done to make VR fit for public consumption, and identify what still needs to be done. We envision the workshop consisting of short presentations, followed by open discussion allowing participants to network and define new plans of action.
 
This book is the first attempt to bridge the current gap between artificial intelligence (AI) research in academia and computer-game development in industry. The book bridges the gap successfully. The author uses FEAR (Flexible Embodied Animat 'Rchitecture), which is an open-source project integrated with a commercial first-person shooter (FPS) game, to analyze, implement, test, and evaluate various AI approaches to various behavioral tasks for nonplayer characters (NPCs). The tasks start with low-level obstacle-avoidance and progress to high-level character emotions; each task with its own part in the book.] Each part is structured into chapters and follows a standard schema: the problem is analyzed, potential mechanisms (including AI) are discussed informally, details of the selected approach are outlined formally, an implementation is provided, the approach is evaluated (primarily visually) through simulation, and finally the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed approach are discussed.
 
Tournament line up includes a little old school, a little new school, and $150,000 in cashMESQUITE, Texas -- June 10, 2005 -- The NVIDIA Championships at QuakeCon will take on a slightly different flavor in 2005, with new tournaments for gamers to show off their skills as part the 10th annual QuakeCon, the largest four day gaming festival in North America. The Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas will be ground zero for more than 6,000 rabid gamers, all with the chance to compete for $150,000 in cash courtesy of title sponsor NVIDIA, the worldwide leader in graphics processing.
 
The Game Initiative's Women's Game Conference focuses on women in the computer and video game industry. The conference program includes career paths for women in the industry, gender inclusive game design and women and girls as consumers of games.The 2005 Women's Game Conference takes place October 26-27, 2005 - the day before and the first day of - the Austin Game Conference at the Austin Convention Center and is open to anyone interested in the game industry and game development.2005 topics include identifying the female game player market, representation of women in advertising, importance of art for female players, consumer trends of female players, games for girls, recruiting and mentoring of women in the game industry and quality of life concerns, and many other timely topics.
 
Just a quick note so you can mark your calendar. The 2005 Women's Game Conference will take place Wednesday and Thursday, October 26-27, 2005 at the Austin Convention Center (same location in the convention center as the 2004 conference). The Austin Game Conference will take place Thursday and Friday, October 27-28, 2005 at the Austin Convention Center. Stay Well, Chris
 
In November 2005, Liverpool John Moores University held its 3rd International Conference in Game Design and Technology (GDTW 2005): http://www.cms.livjm.ac.uk/GDTW/GDTW2005/default.htm.
 
Lee Jay Lorenzen is a highly successful serial entrepreneur with more than 26 years of experience developing software and founding and/or funding numerous software ventures and non-profit organizations. Some of his successful companies include Independent Programming Teams, Ventura Software, Altura Software, Post Digital, Fractal Design Corporation, CoolChat and PGSoft. Lorenzen also developed some of the world's first graphical user interfaces, including icon-based graphical desktop user interface at Xerox Office Products Division and a graphical windowing system and user interface for the PC at Digital Research Inc. In the video interview, you will hear Lee's answers to the following questions:1. You worked on the graphical user interface in the early 80's, what was the motivation behind your work?2. What is the future of the Internet? More e-commerce, education, or entertainment?3. What is the ultimate shopping experience on the Internet like in the future?4. As a successful serial and parallel entrepreneur, what is your advice to a want-to-be entrepreneur in the high-tech business?
 
-- New rules ensure fair competition for gamers and more fun for spectators-- New official maps for StarCraft(r): Brood War(tm) and WarCraft(r) III: Frozen Throne(tm)-- Enhanced WCG website includes new WCG national ranking system for each official game title
 
Following the great success of ACE 2004 in Singapore and ACE 2005 in Valencia, we have great pleasure in announcing ACM SIGCHI ACE 2006 to be held in the capital of entertainment: Hollywood, USA on 14th - 16th June 2006 www.ace2006.orgSimilarly to ACE in 2004/5, ACM, the world's leading computer science society will be publishing all accepted papers, in both the proceedings and the ACM Digital Library and the conference is fully in technical association with the prestigious ACM SIGCHI.Furthermore, the Best Demo (Gold Medal), Best Paper (Gold Medal), and Excellent Paper prizes will again be awarded. Furthermore the Best papers will be published in the leading ACM publication: ACM Computers in Entertainment as well as the Journal of Virtual Reality and Broadcasting.This year we have very exciting new developments such as new call for art works and the Exhibition: Leonardo II where we call for exhibitions in Interactive Art and Digital Cinema. Furthermore prizes will be given for the best art works.Also we have an exciting line-up of Keynote Speakers which will be announced soon.
 
In this special issue on games and pervasive gaming, the Interviews column features video interviews with two of our distinguished advisory board members, Ken Goldstein (May 16, 2005) and Seamus Blackley (May 13, 2005).
 
A two-day event of lectures, research, tutorials and exhibitions on Computer Games Research and Development
 
Bran Ferren is founder, co-chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Applied Minds. Before co-founding Applied Minds in 2000 with Danny Hillis, Ferren founded Associates & Ferren, an R&D company serving the visual and performing arts, as well as industry and the sciences. A&F became part of Walt Disney Imagineering in 1993, the resource for new technology invention and creative input for the entire company, where Ferren held several leadership positions, including president. Bran has won three Academy Awards for technical achievement in film. In the video interview, you will hear Bran's answers to the following questions:1. You have won three Academy Awards for technical achievement in film. What was your proudest achievement?2. You have a personal interest in the intersection of art, design, science and engineering. Can you describe what the intersection is?3. How do you see the future of entertainment technology?4. How does an organization attract and retain the most talented and innovative employees?5. When a company is so focused on the bottomline, how do you foster employee innovation and not break the company?6. What are some the most exciting projects that you are working on at Applied Minds?
 
In this special January 2007 issue on Interactive Entertainment, the Interviews column features a video interview with George Lucas on October 4th, 2006 at the University of Southern California. On that same day, George Lucas formally announced his donation of $175 million to the USC School of Cinematic Arts, formerly known as USC School of Cinema-Television. The reason that George Lucas renamed the world-renowned film school is due to the growing importance of interactive media in Hollywood and worldwide. Computer games have, for many years, captured the attention of Hollywood moguls such as George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. George, Steven, and many supporters of USC have decided that formal education on interactive media and gaming should be given equal priority and funding as traditional movie making and television production. Therefore, instead of appending "Interactive Media" to "Cinema- Television," the USC school simply changed its name to "Cinematic Arts." The implication for interactive entertainment cannot be understated. George Lucas has essentially proclaimed that interactive media and gaming are a part of cinematic arts. Will there be a George Lucas or Steven Spielberg-like genius in next-generation interactive entertainment that will win an Oscar? You bet there will be in the near future. In the video interview, you will hear George Lucas' answers to the following questions as well as his comments at the USC School of Cinematic Arts on October 4th: 1. Is your educational foundation "edutopia" doing anything about the digital divide, especially in terms of access to interactive entertainment? 2. One of the themes in all of your movies is human relationship to machines and technology - either controlling them, or being controlled by them. Is that true? 3. What do you think about the future of entertainment technology?
 
Exploring and familiarizing with the latest developments in the game and interactive entertainment industry.
 
Following on from three previous EuroITV conferences, the steering committee of the EuroITV has decided to hold the 4th European Interactive TV Conference in Athens, Greece. After the successful organization of the Summer Olympics 2004, Athens enjoys a modern infrastructure that facilitates business and leisure activities. EuroITV brings together researchers and practitioners from diverse disciplines that include human-computer interaction, media studies, computer science, telecommunications, audiovisual design and management. The organizing committee invites you to submit original high quality papers addressing the special theme and the topics, for presentation at the conference and inclusion in the proceedings.
 
Konstantinos Chorianopoulos is an European Community (EC) Marie Curie Fellow at the Department of Architecture at the Bauhaus University of Weimar. Konstantinos is also an Adjunct Lecturer at the Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering at the University of the Aegean. He has participated in many EC-funded research projects in the field of human-computer interaction for information, communication and entertainment applications in TV, mobile, and situated computing devices. He is the founder of UITV.INFO, a newsletter and web portal for interactive television research resources (papers, theses), news and events. In the video interview, you will hear Konstantinos' answers to the following questions: 1. What is interactive TV? 2. What is the role of ITV in learning and entertainment? 3. What is one of the most successful applications of ITV so far? 4. What are some of the major research areas in ITV? 5. How do you envision the future growth of ITV?
 
EuroITV brings together researchers from diverse disciplines that include telecommunications, media studies, multimedia, audiovisual design, human-computer interaction, and management. The organizing committee invites you to submit original high quality papers addressing the special theme and the topics, for presentation at the conference and inclusion in the proceedings.
 
IMMERSCOM is the first international conference that focuses on bridging the traditional gap between immersive technologies and networking for the capturing, processing, analyzing, transmitting and enabling the remote fruition of objects, environments, and bio-entities.
 
Welcome to ACM Computers in Entertainment, a premier online magazine featuring video interviews with leading professionals and interesting articles on entertainment technology and its applications.
 
David Wertheimer is Executive Director of the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at the University of Southern California. Prior to his ETC post, he was the executive director of USC's Institute for Creative Technologies. His experience also includes terms as the president of the Digital Entertainment division of Paramount Pictures; founder and CEO of WireBreak Entertainment; and technology and business management positions at Oracle and NeXT. In the video interview, you will hear answers to the following questions: 1. What are the technological and sociological implications of providing content to consumers who desire it at any time and any place? 2. You once said that "The world of interactivity and entertainment is converging." Would you like to elaborate on your statement? 3. Can you tell us about the state-of-the-art Digital Content Center that you are building at the ETC? 4. What is the biggest challenge for the ETC today and what is your grand vision for the future of the ETC? 5. What are some of the current activities at the ETC?
 
Chris Kyriakakis is Associate Professor of Audio Signal Processing at the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering, and he is Deputy Director of the Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC), a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. He is also Chief Technology Officer/Founder of Audyssey Laboratories, Inc. a cutting-edge audio company that delivers algorithms for improving sound in homes, theaters, portable devices, and automobiles. He is the recipient of a 2006 World Technology Award. In the video interview, you will hear his answers to the following questions: 1. You have conducted research on the impact of music on perceived emotion of film. Can you tell us what it is about? 2. You are the co-founder of the Immersive Audio Laboratory at the USC Integrated Media Systems Center. What are some of the cutting-edge research projects at your Lab? 3. You have co-founded Audyssey Laboratories to commercialize your research projects. What is the biggest challenge in transforming research ideas into commercial products? 4. You won the 2006 World Technology Award last year. Congratulations! How do you envision changing the world for the better by means of new technologies?
 
This article provides an introduction to Charmed, a tangible interactive media artwork that explores aspects of daily life in urban environments. The article discusses the conceptual, aesthetic, and technical dimensions of the work, our creative ...
 
Over the last decade, as Intel Corporation has successively sought to expand its business into consumer electronics adjacencies, it envisioned a spectrum of screens in homes that could serve as interchangeable front-ends to a relatively standard computational ...
 
For centuries, people have enjoyed both stories and games. As a result, a form of entertainment that combines storytelling with game-playing seems a great idea. It has the potential to be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the road to this entertainment form is long and complicated and many difficulties must be overcome. Andrew Glassner, in his new book Interactive Storytelling: Techniques for 21st Century Fiction, does an excellent job identifying these difficulties. He analyzes games and storytelling, and describes the principal problems that developers face in merging these two activities into an interactive form of entertainment.
 
Game Trust, the leading infrastructure provider for premium online casual games, today announced that AOL Games is partnering with Game Trust in hosting the highly anticipated Second Annual "Casual Game Evolution Challenge." Launched last year at the Game Developer Conference (GDC), the Second Annual Casual Game Evolution Challenge seeks to identify the best Java web games for online, tournament and download play.
 
Submit your short film to this award-winning, educational, not-for-profit project.
 
This study investigates effectiveness of a local high-fidelity 3D facial avatar before the global audience by observing how US and International student groups differ in viewing non-verbal high fidelity 3D facial avatar animation embedded with motion data from 3 US individuals in subject identification and emotion perception. To synthesize the animated 3D avatars that convey highly-believable facial expressions, a 3D scanned facial model was mapped with high-fidelity motion capture data of three native US subjects as they spoke designated English sentences with specified emotions. Simple animations in conjunction with actual footages of the captured subjects speaking during the facial motion capture sessions were shown several times to both native US students and international students in similar settings. After a familiarization process, we showed them randomly arranged talking avatars without voice and asked them to identify the corresponding identity and emotion types, and to rate their confidences in terms of their selections. We found that US group had higher success rates in the subject identification although the related confidence ratings difference between two groups was not significant. The differences in emotion perception success rate and confidence ratings related to the emotion perception between two groups were not significant. The results of our study provide interesting insights to avatar-based interaction where national/cultural background of a person impacts the perception of the identity while it has little effect on the emotion perception. However, we observed that dynamics (i.e. head motion) could offset the cultural unfamiliarity disadvantage in the subject identification. We observed that both groups performed in nearly identical level in subject identification and emotion perception when they were shown the avatar animation with high expression and dynamics intensities. In addition, we observed that the confidence ratings had correlations with the accuracies of the subject identification but not with the accuracies of the emotion perception.
 
Goal task structure. Each goal can be reached through tasks (arrows) that are more or less negatively evaluated according to each value of the narrative (oblique lines). The characters (circles) are more or less linked to the values (bold and dashed lines). Obstacles (diamonds) allow the triggering of a subgoal (through the conditions X and Y). {+X} ({-X}) denotes, respectively, that the goal adds (respectively, withdraws) the fact X to the world when it is reached.
Screenshot of the interactive drama system. The user is informing Daryl about his goal.  
The user interacts with the interactive drama system via en immersive environment.  
Interactive fiction and adventure video games are narrative genres which provide the player with the option of acting as the main character of the story. However these genres do not fully match the expectations of their authors and readers because the player cannot deeply affect the storyline. This article describes a system integrating highly interactive narrative structures in a real-time 3D environment. Based on a theoretical foundation of narrative and drama, an interactive drama engine (IDE) has been implemented. It comprises an action calculus system, a text-generation system, a behavior engine, an animation engine as well as an innovative adaptive user interface. The IDE is demonstrated with two scenarios.
 
The input abstraction architecture in EnJine  
RollCubes
WiiMote's response to gravity  
Accelerations during a swinging movement These tests led to the InputDevices described in section 5. The implementation of WiiImpulseDevice was quite straightforward after understanding On the other hand, while inspired by Figure 4, implementing WiiTiltDevice was more complicated due to the need to decompose the acceleration along the axes of the moving coordinate system. Both devices worked as designed during testing. No usability tests were made for the game modified to use WiiImpulseDevice or WiiTiltDevice. Informally, however, it can be noted that using WiiImpulseDevice in a game that requires several quick and repetitive movements is hard on the user's wrist but using WiiTiltDevice led to a pleasant interface, but still slower than simply using the keyboard. Then again, modifying this game to use the WiiMote was not accomplished to improve the game's playability (it is actually the sort of game that works with conventional devices very well), but simply to analyze how much coding work is required to replace a conventional device with a pre-made WiiMote InputDevice and the result was positive: the work involved is very small, as discussed in section 5.  
The goal of the work described here is to integrate a 3D input device, the Wii controller, and enJine, a didactic engine, motivated by the growing use of 3D interfaces. This article discusses how this increases enJine's didactic and technological potential, and details the adopted solution as a layered architecture. Two interaction styles were tested with the implemented solution. Test results show a variety of data about the controller, confirming that this solution works as desired and that using it to modify a game so it can use the WiiMote as its input device is a simple task.
 
To convey a story or message, contemporary D animation utilizes a conventional continuity approach in which events are arranged in a smooth, sequential, and uninterrupted manner. The results of good continuity are coherence in visual perception and a seamless flow of action and events from one shot or sequence to another in all motion media. In making a film, continuity coupled with good editing principles and appropriate use of transitions in the post-production phase make for an organized shooting plan. In this article we discuss the potential of adapting a movable pop-up technique as a continuity element for the entire flow in 3D animation. This is done by integrating the technique within the animated story, transforming scenes, and narrating the story from one shot to another continuously by substituting basic editing transitions in a film. These findings demonstrate that movable pop-up animation affects animation timing and is incapable of achieving classical continuity (defined as making transitions as transparent as possible to the audience). Nevertheless, this technique is sufficient to create coherence in visual perception and establish a continuous flow of events within a distinct animation style.
 
The PerGames series of international workshops addresses the design and technical issues of bringing computer entertainment back to the real world with pervasive games. Previous PerGames events were held in Vienna (2004) and Munich (2005) and attracted researchers and practitioners from all over the world.With the PerGames 2006 workshop we bring together researchers who are interested in interactive entertainment and the chances and risks that pervasive computing might add to it. We will discuss results from this emerging field and share our experiences and visions to identify relevant research questions and future research directions.
 
Top-cited authors
Peta Wyeth
  • Queensland University of Technology
Kurt Squire
  • University of California, Irvine
Maria Roussou
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Michaela M. Black
  • Ulster University
Benjamin Ultan Cowley
  • University of Helsinki