Situated play in open-ended interactive art environments

Ann Morrison (2010). Situated play in open-ended interactive art environments PhD Thesis, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, The University of Queensland.

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Author Ann Morrison
Thesis Title Situated play in open-ended interactive art environments
School, Centre or Institute School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-06
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr Stephen Viller
Dr Peta Mitchell
Total pages 335
Total colour pages 38
Total black and white pages 297
Subjects 08 Information and Computing Sciences
Abstract/Summary The fields of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and art are increasingly intersecting, with HCI evaluations of interactive art works and artwork that borrows technology and repurposes it for interactive environments. This intersection indicates the need for a common-ground language and set of methods that can mediate between the two disciplinary bodies of knowledge and recognise the strengths of both. In this thesis I observe the situated, embodied and playful interaction that participants engage in with open-ended interactive artworks and devise 1) a robust, evolving methodology and 2) a common sense language that mediates between HCI and critical art practice. The evolving methodology integrates the artist’s intent into the focus of the questionnaires and face-to-face interviews, and implements a standard ethnomethodologically informed approach to ethnography as the method to observe the naturally occurring embodied action and interaction of the participants as they interact with the open-ended work. For the language, the work in this thesis builds a set of sensitising terms from the existing literature to act as guides and to direct focus of the observation. Through the grounded application of these guides, I then devise a common-sense language for multiple uses. The contribution of this thesis is threefold. First, it provides a methodological model for the evaluation of open-ended interactive artwork. The strength of this method is that it treats each work individually and recognises the importance of the artist intent and the traditions from which the work derives. In addition, the model applies rigorous ethnomethodologically informed methods to observe the naturally occurring actions of participants as they interact with the works. Second, the thesis contributes a set of sensitising guides and a common-sense language for 1) participants to use to describe their experience; 2) for researchers to use to code, analyse, report and discuss their findings; and 3) for inter-disciplinary researchers to use as a common-ground language. The language is useful to describe situated instances of play and modes of participation that participants naturally use in interacting with open-ended interactive works that require participants bodily interact with the work. Third, the thesis builds an understanding of open-ended free- play non-narrative environments and the affordances these environments enable. The thesis builds foundational work to add situated play as a useful construct to add to the literature on embodied and situated interaction.
Keyword situated play
sensitising guides
common-sense language
interaction design
ethnomethodologically informed ethnography
interactive art
Installation art
Additional Notes colour, pdf page numbers 12-14, 41,42, 47-49 56, 122, 143-144 150-152, 154-156 162, 164, 168 173, 187-192 212, 223-224, 226-227 230, 237, 241, 252, 267

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Created: Tue, 21 Dec 2010, 01:54:59 EST by Ms Ann Morrison on behalf of Library - Information Access Service