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The Grammar of Immersive Interactive Narrative

Chris Bregler
Scott Snibbe
New York University

This project will pioneer a technical, social, and aesthetic grammar for fully immersive interactive installations. This project will identify breakthroughs in the grammar of interactivity analogous to the development of cross-cutting in cinema, which transformed cinema from a diversion to a powerful communication medium; or the introduction of hyperlinking to digital texts on the Internet, which transformed reading from a passive linear activity to an interactive nonlinear one. The intellectual advances will include:

• New systems and technologies for full-body interaction with projected interactive installations that go beyond simple physical cause and effect, including real-time computer vision analysis of viewers’ body language, culture and mood; and analysis of large crowds’ movements.

• High-level principles of this medium for effective communication. Communication will be explored in the educational (science themes) and the cultural (art and humanity themes).

• Pilot Human-Computer Interface analysis of immersive interactive media, including a comparison with passive media and studies with psychologists for independent analysis.

The broader impact is the development of a new medium which is as powerful as cinema, and yet where viewers remain aware of themselves and the people around them as active participants in a mutually created narrative story. This medium may become the dominant means for education and communication in public institutions as the internet subsumes traditional “kiosk” and “wall text” installations which formerly filled their halls.

Last modified 19 September 2007 at 1:00 pm by snibbe