Keynote Speakers

Chris Crawford: “The Siren Song of Interactive Storytelling”

Slideshow from the Keynote talk: Please watch here

Abstract. Many a researcher has wasted years pursuing the siren song of interactive storytelling, and for all the efforts that have been spent, little has been accomplished. It would appear that interactive storytelling is like natural language processing: something that seemed easy at first, but is now recognized as immensely difficult. Five obstacles must be overcome in order to achieve genuine interactive storytelling: 1) emotionally significant facial displays; 2) a personality model appropriate to drama; 3) a narrative engine capable of processing dramatic interactions; 4) a development environment for controlling the technology; and 5) a language of dramatic interaction. This keynote will characterize these challenges and present the solutions to them that I have developed for the Siboot project.

Biography. Chris Crawford earned a Master of Science degree in Physics from the University of Missouri in 1975. After teaching physics for several years, he joined Atari as a game designer in 1979. There he created a number of games: Energy Czar, an educational simulation about the energy crisis, Scram, a nuclear power plant simulation, Eastern Front (1941), a wargame, Gossip, a social interaction game, and Excalibur, an Arthurian game. Following the collapse of Atari in 1984, Crawford took up the Macintosh. He created Balance of Power, a game about diplomacy, Patton Versus Rommel, a wargame, Trust & Betrayal, a social interaction game, Balance of the Planet, an environmental simulation game, and Patton Strikes Back, a wargame. In 1992, Crawford decided to leave game design and concentrate his energies on interactive storytelling. Crawford has written five published books: The Art of Computer Game Design, now recognized as a classic in the field, in 1982; Balance of Power (the book) in 1986; The Art of Interactive Design in 2002; Chris Crawford on Game Design in 2003; and Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling in 2004. He created the first periodical on game design, the Journal of Computer Game Design, in 1987. He founded and served as Chairman of the Computer Game Developers’ Conference, now known as the Game Developers’ Conference. Crawford has given hundreds of lectures at conferences and universities around the world, and published dozens of magazine articles and academic papers. Crawford served as computer system designer and observer for the 1999 and 2002 NASA Leonid MAC airborne missions; he also has done analysis of the resulting data. Crawford is currently the team leader of an international R&D team, which develops “Siboot”, a game about social intelligence and emotional intuition. He lives in southern Oregon with his wife, 3 dogs, 7 cats, and 16 ducks.

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Paul Mulholland“Interactive narrative and museums”

Abstract: Museums often use stories to help visitors interpret their collections. For example, a story may help the visitor to interpret an artwork in the context of the life of the artist or the border social and political context in which the artwork was created. Visitors also tell their own stories, making connections between the artwork and their own concerns, knowledge and interests. There are ever expanding opportunities to use technology to enhance the museum experience. Online data sources can be used to provide additional information about artworks and artists discovered by the visitor. Mobile technology can be used augment physical museum visits in a way that is sensitive to context and location. Do these technologies work with or against the range of curatorial and visitor stories being shared within the museum environment? In this talk I will look at the nature of museum stories, from the larger stories that structure a museum exhibition to the smaller stories that may connect an artwork to a visitor’s personal experience. I will then look at some examples of how the nature of stories, and museum stories in particular, can be used to inform the design of museum technologies and shed light on how visitors use them.

Biography. Paul Mulholland is a Research Fellow in the Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK. His research interests include technology enhanced learning, digital narrative and knowledge visualisation. He has been an investigator on a number of international and UK research projects in which he has been involved in the design, development and evaluation of technologies in formal education, museum and work contexts. Previous work has included: innovative applications for use by museum staff and visitors; mobile applications for formal and informal learning; automated narrative generation tools for education and entertainment; and semantic and knowledge technologies for learning in organisations. Recently he has been an investigator on DECIPHER, an EU Framework Programme 7 project in the area of Digital Libraries and Digital Preservation, where he led work on using knowledge technologies to model and reason about museum narratives. He has published over 100 conference, workshop, journal articles and book chapters. He is Deputy Editor of the International Journal of Human Computer Studies.






More keynote speakers to be announced very soon.