The problem with player-focused virtual heritage

In February 2016, Mathew Tyler-Jones wrote (about my Critical Gaming book):

There’s only one point I take issue with. Drawing from this blog, he says:

Playing in a digitally simulated world can leave the feeling that the virtual world’s entire causal mechanics rotate around the player

…as thought that’s a Bad Thing. Which I guess it might be if you are primarily seeking immersion or presence, as the VR guys call it. But in fact I’m coming to the conclusion that that feeling (which I’ve dubbed in a couple of presentations “the Apotheosis Moment”) is something special about games, which in a way, I’m trying to recreate in physical cultural heritage environments.

Yes I think it is a problem for virtual heritage, and especially for agent-based virtual heritage (VH with bots/AI)..why should a world, especially a past world re-visited to explain past cultural significance, revolve around a current-world player?

So how does this relate to BDI agents? (Belief Desire Intention Agents)..

A virtual heritage project should convey

  • cultural significance
  • cultural loss
  • the issue of recovering/re-interpreting the past
  • intangible heritage (not only the materiality of 3D objects)
  • sociability and community related to cultural values
  • the relative values of culture, society and what was treasured

In many if not most past societies, this trumps the value of the individual (perhaps unless you were the Supreme leader..)

And in AI ,well AI based on BDI, the above are not usually directly considered.

I would add specific components should be:

  1. agent-aware feelings of community and strangeness (belonging and exclusion)
  2. relative values of tangible and intangible cultural processes, products and assets
  3. specifically situated embodiment (especially important for ritual and helping with both #1 and #3).

These are just brief notes to ponder on in more detail at a later time (but before the end of November!)






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