27 January 2010 Ambient clumsiness in virtual environments
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Abstract
A fundamental pursuit of Virtual Reality is the experience of a seamless connection between the user's body and actions within the simulation. Virtual worlds often mediate the relationship between the physical and virtual body through creating an idealized representation of the self in an idealized space. This paper argues that the very ubiquity of the medium of virtual environments, such as the massively popular Second Life, has now made them mundane, and that idealized representations are no longer appropriate. In our artwork we introduce the attribute of clumsiness to Second Life by creating and distributing scripts that cause users' avatars to exhibit unpredictable stumbling, tripping, and momentary poor coordination, thus subtly and unexpectedly intervening with, rather than amplifying, a user's intent. These behaviors are publicly distributed, and manifest only occasionally - rather than intentional, conscious actions, they are involuntary and ambient. We suggest that the physical human body is itself an imperfect interface, and that the continued blurring of distinctions between the physical body and virtual representations calls for the introduction of these mundane, clumsy elements.
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Silvia Ruzanka, Silvia Ruzanka, Katherine Behar, Katherine Behar, } "Ambient clumsiness in virtual environments", Proc. SPIE 7525, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2010, 75250C (27 January 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.845705; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.845705
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