Friday, September 21, 2007

M3 - Friday Morning Session

Betty Li Meldgaard from Aalborg University is discussing interaction in spatial terms using James J. Gibson's ecological approach to interaction. She looks at computer games as a simulation of the visual perceptual system, and describes this as an image or world analysis approach where she studies the link between the human system and the environment. "Eyes-in-the-head-on-a-body-resting-on-the-ground." Changes in optical structures, disturbances in the layout (order, composition), when something is happening and structures are changing because of movement give information about action, enabling gamers to figure out and manipulate the game/viewpoint in the game. Moving objects/characters stand in opposition to the solid areas in the image: The things that don't move by themselves, can't surprise the player, are therefore considered unimportant, thus enabling the him or her to focus on the elements that do change, move or act.

Jennie Olofsson from Luleå University of Technology conveys her impressions from the DEAF07 in Rotterdam in her presentation: "Look we are being filmed! - Dazzling Interaction versus Everyday Tinkering." Who is invited to participate, who has been shut out? Hierarchy and subversion on and off stage, where the boys/men are invited to interact and the girls/women are left outside "tinkering."

Björn Sjöblom, Linköping University, presents "The third man: Necessitating your presence at a gaming session." He aims to understand game-centered youth culture and attempts to understand embodied gaming interaction. He did fieldwork at an Internet Café in Stockholm with boys aged 11-20 while they were playing WoW, WCIII-mods (DotA, Angel Arena) etc. He describes it as a very social, communicative, placed/situated activity. Three boys are present, two of them playing against each other, while the "third man" is only watching the others while at the same time interacting with the other two. Theory: Charles Goodwin (interaction - talk, gestures, posture). He has looked at spatial arrangements, dialogue, the use of gestures and co-orientation, and concludes that the "third man" performs the role of the "competent viewer" to show his competence as a player, projecting future events. "Power and resistance in negotiations fro gaming competence."

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