My presentation Researching Digital Cultural Heritage, in Manchester, https://www.slideshare.net/nzerik/inside-out-avatars-agents-cultural-agentsfor
Hello Curtin students, if you can do a masters course project (or you are final year undergraduate) you might also be able to build on one of these ideas:
Corbin is my summer intern, looking at
1. Kinect-Minecraft v2: a software framework for non-programmers to create their own gestures for Minecraft interaction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09tc3nLgx9w
2 Kinect-Unity pointer software:
3. Point clouds with a Head Mounted Display (HMD) /Unreal. Status: exploratory.
See also CAA2017 slides from Damien Vurpillot: https://www.academia.edu/30171751/Exploring_massive_point_clouds_how_to_make_the_most_out_of_available_digital_material
4. Corbin will narrow down the above into one main investigation. Evaluate: sharing virtual experiences across different displays (cylindrical versus HMD): to uncover similar papers with a collaborative learning focus. Ideally there will be a comparison of Unity versus Unreal.
Why do we use augmented reality for heritage? To show what is not there, navigate and orient people, to reveal what is created intangibly by our indirect actions, or to reveal our impact on material remains..
But AR/MR/games can reveal archaeological methods along with intrinsic reasons to play games, zombies!
Zombies are slow and can be animated or rendered clumsily; they provide a protagonist on limited AI resources; they are associated with death, decay and the past. We have some experience with zombies and biofeedback or skeletons and archaeology..
- Example: Library Skills, Archival and archaeology methods
- Goal: The goal can be serious exploration; but with imaginative constraints and settings.
- Game mechanic: For example: dig up zombie, match to correct time using dating methods
- Feedback: If correctly matched to time period, zombies are animated and run amok.
- Setting: archaeological dig, a mortuary or a library.
- Affordance: Find artefacts that placate zombies; mortuaries require following correct rituals to rebury zombies; library archives inform player of artefacts of value to zombies-find books of power to protect against zombies.
- Reward: Videos or machinima augmented glimpses of potential past/individual narratives.
- Game platform: does it have to be 3D? Could it be designed in minecraft (open source or otherwise), minetest, or terrania? Augmented reality: how could it be involved? Oh I have some ideas but that would be telling and I’d have to charge..
A journal asked that I respond to a paper that briefly mentions the above. Notes to self include these general questions that I seldom find answers to in virtual heritage papers and not mentioned in my response (the journal has a strict word limit):
- Interpretation: It is very hard to extrapolate from VH papers how various interpretations are fostered.
- Beginnings: Where do you place a visitor in a virtual site?
- Dynamic alterity: How should or could they navigate time, space and interpretation?
- Art Versus Scientific Imagination: How should they separate artistic from current reality from interpreted virtuality? What if the artistry is impressive but speculative?
- Projects: Where can the projects (that apparently relate to the questions posed in the text), be experienced or otherwise accessed? How will they be preserved?
- Interactive Navigation: How do we navigate time, space, interpretation, and task/goal?
- Authenticity, accuracy and artistry: How does one balance all three?
Still being planned (Newcastle is still a tbc):
- Mo We 20-22/11 UCL QATAR, workshop and talk on 3D and the archives
- Th Fr 23-24/11 AM only UNESCO Paris
- Mo 27 Glasgow
- Tu 28 am session at School of Simulation and Visualisation U. of Glasgow (not a talk but a session, tbc), possible afternoon visit to Newcastle.
- We 29 15:30 give a talk at U. of Salford, “Rethinking Virtual Places”, http://www.salford.ac.uk/research/amc/research-groups/cultural-communication-and-media
- Th 30 Manchester conference, Inside Out: Avatars, Agents, Cultural Agents, http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/icp/connect/events/digital-heritage-conference/
- Fr 1/12 Manchester conference, fly out 15:30
The 3 talks:
UCL Qatar: (tbc), 20 or 21 November 2017:
Talk, workshop and debate on Historical narratives and digital spaces (place tbc)
Salford, 29 November 2017:
Rethinking Virtual Places
This talk will cover my recent thoughts on what is a virtual place and a virtual world, and why we seem to have shifting, even varying notions of virtual reality. For example, what are virtual environments and virtual museums? Do they open our minds up to the possibility of digital space and virtual culture? In my opinion, they typically fail to do so, virtual museums lack contestation and imagined defensive capacity, they are not cultural worlds. Many philosophers and cultural studies thinkers have given us some hints as to cultural places, but not to virtual cultural places. And architects are also not as well placed as one might think, to design, critique and review virtual places. Nor is it clear to many how we learn through virtual place. Augmented reality will begin to dominate virtual reality, and consumer-friendly component-based VR technology has great promise, but new and emerging devices displays and peripherals may have long-term detrimental cognitive, physical and social effects.
Research Digital Cultural Heritage conference, University of Manchester, 30 November-1 December 2017:
Inside Out: Avatars, Agents, Cultural Agents
If conveying cultural significance is a central aim of virtual heritage projects, can they convey cultural significance effectively without an understanding of the contextual role of cultural knowledge? In this talk I will argue this is very difficult, but even populating virtual environments with others (human-guided or computer-scripted), there are still vital, missing ingredients.
In virtual heritage projects with enough computational power and sophistication to feature intelligent agents, they are primarily used as guides (Bogdanovych et al. 2009). They lead players to important landmarks, or perhaps act as historical guides (revealing past events, conveying situationally appropriate behavior). Intelligent agents are usually designed for limited forms of conversation and typically help convey social presence rather than cultural presence. For an enhanced “sense of inhabited place”, engaging narrative- related elements, or embodiment, a cultural agent recognizes, adds to, or transmits physically embedded and embodied aspects of culture. They could provide a sense of cultural presence, becoming Aware-Of-Not-Quite-Being-‘There’.
Cultural agents would not be mere conversational agents if they were able to:
- Automatically select correct cultural behaviors given specific events or situations.
- Recognize in/correct cultural behaviors given specific events, locations, or situations.
- Transmit cultural knowledge.
- Modify, create, or command artifacts that become cultural knowledge.
To fulfil the above criteria, cultural agents would be culturally constrained. Not just socially constrained; their actions and beliefs would be dependent on role, space, and time. They could understand and point out right from wrong in terms of culturally specific behavior and understand the history and possibly also the future trajectory of specific cultural movements. In this talk I will discuss three scenarios for cultural agents, their relationship to roles and rituals, and two more missing ingredients. The result? A more situated, reflexive appreciation of cultural significance via virtual heritage.
I met Jeff Saunders last year at the Interactive pasts conference, he and Stephen Reid presented this
Jeff Sanders & Stephen Reid (Dig It! 2015)
Crafting the Past
Last year, Dig It! 2015, a year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology, reached out to new audiences. One of the most popular initiatives came from a partnership with a games-based learning specialist known as ImmersiveMinds. The resulting and ongoing project, called ‘Crafting the Past’, uses Minecraft to bring archaeology to life by recreating real sites on a one-to-one scale, including a Pictish hillfort, 18th-century palladian mansion and Roman fortlet. Players take part in digital archaeological digs, explore heritage sites and even redevelop ruined buildings. Crafting the Past has support from the gaming community thanks to Multiplay, as well the archaeology community, with special thanks to the AOC Archaeology Group and a range of heritage organisations. This presentation will explore the lessons learned throughout the development, launch and management of this project and how unique partnerships can break down barriers in unexpected ways.
Their chapter (with Julianne McGraw) is free online
- Crafting the Past: Unlocking new audiences
Julianne McGraw, Stephen Reid & Jeff Sanders