Abstract

Experience and the activities that provide it are associated with the virtual places where they were encountered, and this may instill in our imagination an illusion of an environment other than where an interactive mediated environment1 (a virtual environment, virtual reality, or computer game) resides (home, work, or on the move). Appropriate and/or stimulating experience may encourage users to continue, or become engaged in, pursing activities in a mediated environment. The termstaying there is used to describe this situation of engagement. Conversely, if experience from use does not match up or deliver on expectations or purpose, or it is dull, boring, or uninteresting, then it may not hold user's attention and can potentially shift attention from the mediated to the real world. This paper describes the background work towards the development of a framework of experience with the aim of informing analysis and design of interactive mediated environments (IMEs) to induce/evoke stimulating experience in users and to encourage them in “staying there.” Informed from film-making, three levels of experience are explored: voyeuristic (“joy of seeing the new and the wonderful”), visceral (thrill of spectacle and attractions), and vicarious (transfer of emotion through another person, being, or object). With varying degrees of emphasis, story is experienced by spectators through one or a combination of these three to provide meaning. Drawing a parallel between developments in film and IMEs, situations, circumstances, features, and elements of IME design are identified that can induce/evoke these experiences in users. As well as informing analysis and design of experience of IMEs, this may provide an alternative way to reason about engagement and presence.

Note

The term interactive mediated environment is used to encapsu-late similarities in many current, new, and emerging media types (vir-tual reality, virtual environments, computer games, the Internet) com-prising three-dimensional computer generated/manipulated visual environment or space (graphics, video, photographic, and so on) and provide the potential for user activities within the environment. To enhance a line of reasoning, individual media/platforms are referred to by name.

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