IELogo         IE2005
Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment
23-25 November 2005, Sydney
Announce List

In-Cooperation with


Conference Sponsors

[Australian Film Television Radio School]

[Australian CRC for Interaction Design]

[NSW Department of State and Regional Development]

[beta_space @ Powerhouse Museum]


[La Trobe University]

[University of Technology, Sydney]

[University of Western Sydney]

[Charles Sturt University]


What a great conference IE2005 has been!
Please see Post-Conference section for pictures, videos, blogs, links, and press about IE2005.

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Paper Abstracts

Oppositional Play Gathering Negative Evidence for Computer Game Values
Pippin Barr, Sky Marsen, James Noble

Computer games constantly promote particular values to be adopted by their players during gameplay, but there has been little research into how this takes place. Understanding value promotion in computer games is of importance for a variety of reasons, ranging from game design to criticism. This paper presents an initial method for assessing value promotion in computer games by examining what happens when we play against the promoted values, using the semiotic square to generate oppositional playings. By analysing computer games in this way we are able to gather negative evidence for the values promoted and to examine how games do or do not facilitate oppositional play.

Gesture-Controlled Interaction with Aesthetic Information
Kirsty Beilharz

Information representation in augmented and virtual reality systems, and social physical (building) spaces can enhance the efficacy of interacting with and assimilating abstract, non-visual data. Sonification is the process of automatically generated real time information representation. There is a gap in our implementation and knowledge of auditory display systems used to enhance interaction in virtual and augmented reality. This paper addresses that gap by examining methodologies for mapping socio-spatial data to spatialised sonification manipulated with gestural controllers. This is a system of interactive knowledge representation that completes the human integration loop, enabling the user to interact with and manipulate data using 3D spatial gesture and 3D auditory display. Benefits include 1) added immersion in an augmented or virtual reality interface; 2) auditory display avoids visual overload in visually-saturated processes such as designing, evacuation in emergencies, flying aircraft; computer gaming; and 3) bi-modal or auditory representation, due to its time-based character, facilitates cognition of complex information.

"Make it through with another point of view": Landmarks to Wayfind in Gameworld
Nicola J Bidwell, Daryl Poyner, Jeremy Irving, Levi Putna, Are Wold

We address inconsistencies in applying theory on landmarks recalled from familiar physical worlds to progressive wayfinding unfamiliar gameworlds in situ. We propose design tactics from theory derived from two separate “games” in unfamiliar physical terrain. Findings illustrate couplings between the terrain and players’ spatial knowlege and global and situated wayfinding goals. Landmark recognisability is influenced by player’s directly experienced or induced Point of View (POV) in mapping their spatial knowledge and the terrain. Our preliminary results in gameworlds suggest accommodating player’s “natural” strategies in a rhetoric for place and wayfinding. This promotes “trajectory” and a player’s appropriate induction of POV (e.g. in mappings between passive and active experiences).

Evolving Behaviours for a Real­Time Autonomous Camera
Owen Bourne, Abdul Satta

The quality of autonomous camera systems is crucial for the elegance and success of 3rd-person perspective computer games. We must ensure that these systems are fully capable of correctly performing camera movements in real-time within the interactive computer game environment. Our previous work demonstrated a highly effective constraint-weighting based camera system for producing believable autonomous camera movements. However, it had a complex interface for artists and game designers. To alleviate this problem, we describe a novel use of genetic algorithms for the purpose of evolving camera profiles to match the desired properties, by searching the space of possible camera profiles. As part of the experimental study, we implemented a 3D game engine to demonstrate the effectiveness of the use of constraint-weighting techniques for camera control. We also demonstrate the effectiveness of genetic algorithms in evolving camera profiles.

Architectural Designers and the Interactive Audience
Andrew Burrow, Gregory More

Game-engines are beginning to be utilised to represent spatial designs for the built environment. They are capable of realtime simulation of 3d spaces, including dynamic environmental conditions such as lighting, fire, rain, fog, smoke, and bodies of water, as well as physical interactions such as gravity and collision. These capabilities allow participants to experience the spatial design in ways that are not predetermined by the designer. For architects, video game culture and artifacts are highly accessible and provide new opportunities for interactive engagement with yet to be constructed spaces, and new media to extend the physical spaces of built architecture into meaningful virtual domains.

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Meaningful Interaction in Virtual Learning Environments
Erik Champion

There is still a great deal of opportunity for research on contextual interactive immersion in virtual heritage environments. The general failure of virtual environment technology to create engaging and educational experiences may be attributable not just to deficiencies in technology or in visual fidelity, but also to a lack of contextual and performative-based interaction, such as that found in games. However, there is little written so far on exactly how game-style interaction can help improve virtual learning environments.

Conversation Starters: Using Spatial Context to Initiate Dialogue in First-Person Perspective Games
David B. Christian, R. Michael Young

A first-person perspective role-playing game by its very nature attempts to create a sense of presence by fostering a deep connection between a user and her avatar. However, the current communication interfaces found within such environments endanger this connection by both forcing the player to consider the interface instead of the game and removing control over the character’s behavior from the player. In this paper, we first describe an algorithm which allows users to initiate dialogue with artificial agents in a manner that more closely mirrors normal human interaction. We then describe techniques to increase the realism of the behavior of agents while in the presence of a conversation initiation.

AI for Automated Combatants in a Training Application
Cindy Cox, Daniel Fu

We are trying to emulate the most realistic human-combat behaviors possible in a virtual environment. Our requirement for realism stems from our application: a combat training environment where the virtual arena needs to engage students in experiences that can carryover to “real life.” For us, “realism” is focused on the behaviors of enemy combatants in the virtual world, and the definition of that reality needs to address questions like: Do the enemies hide from you? Where? How well? What weapons do they choose? How accurately do they aim? How fast can they shoot? Are they familiar with the tactics you and your team members use most often? Are they acting rationally given current conditions in terms of visibility, noise, and obstacles? In this paper we describe the system we are building: design choices, authoring concepts, and tools.

Understanding the Experience of Interactive Art: Iamascope in Beta_space
Brigid Costello, Lizzie Muller, Shigeki Amitani, Ernest Edmonds,

This paper describes a study into the situated experience of interactive art. The study was conducted with audiences of the artwork Iamascope and is framed by the four categories of embodied experience that have been proposed by its artist Sidney Fels. The video-cued recall method we employed was shown to reveal rich detail about situated interactive art experience. The results provide a detailed account of how the categories of embodiment manifest themselves in audience experience and lead to the proposal of a blueprint for the trajectory of interaction produced by Iamascope which may be generalisable to other interactive artworks.

The Interactive Game: Origins and Effects
Roman Danylak, Ernest Edmonds

The virtual world that computation now presents to us and involves us in, otherwise known as digitisation - collapses the ‘self’; personal identity to which we have become accustomed to in the last four hundred years, is challenged by the illusion of many selves, transforming our experience of the usual. Multimedia presents us with dimensional multiplicity meaning that we are no longer forced to be just John Smith, our namesake. We have a possibility of playing in an infinite game where we can be many other beings, other types of people, rather than staying as ‘who’ we are. This has significant consequences for the interface design notion of the single user. The combination of separate, unique, historically evolved, representational technologies, best stated as counterfeit, production and simulation, distinctions established by Baudrillard[1] allows the diverse self to evolve in a digitised environment. This paper will focus on Spielberg’s film Catch Me if You Can, the narrative describing the actions of its game playing protagonist, Frank Abagnale – who exemplifies digital man – adopting many personas but in a pre-digital world. This study offers a clear understanding of the nature of interactivity. Semiotic analysis will be included revealing that the evolution of communication technologies since the Renaissance amplifies language in successive epochs characterised by space and/or time concerns, pinpointing origins.

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Game-first Programming for Information Systems Students
Steve Goschnick, Sandrine Balbo

A significant minority of undergraduate Information Systems (IS) students require motivation in their learning of OOP languages. Basing the primary student assignment on the delivery of a working 2D board game is a solution, if it is attainable within a one-semester subject. Introducing an existing board-game class enabled us to set board-game projects, which can be completed by the vast majority of student teams. It makes the project achievable in the timeframe, encourages the reuse of software components, and lets students concentrate on design and interface issues, while satisfying the learning requirements. Just as edutainment products have managed to motivate high school students and others into learning history, geography and other subjects, we have successfully used the computer board-game genre, to educate undergraduate IS students in the intricacies of Object Oriented Programming (OOP).

Pulp Gaming: Taking An Episodic Approach To Interactive Entertainment
Robert J Grigg

Episodic gaming is an emerging approach to game design and distribution within the interactive entertainment industry. To date, however, there have been only few commercial examples and these have demonstrated mixed outcomes concerning the viability of the approach. Industry-leading publishers and developers emphasize their positive support for the successful possibilities of episodic gaming, but currently there is no proven method or business model for the production of episodic titles. There has also been minimal formal research, leaving episodic approaches to games relatively unexplored. This paper examines episodically structured games and current literature about the episodic game industry with the aim of further defining what makes an episodic game title. The paper aims to formulate research questions for further research in the area with a view to the development of both business and design models for the episodic approach in the interactive entertainment industry for today and the future.

Idea-ON>!, Iconica & Semiomorph: creating identities for game spaces through visual style and digital aesthetics.
Troy Innocent

Modes of representation in digital games are explored in terms of game aesthetics, structure and logic. Concepts related to ‘world-making’ are articulated through three art works created by the author - Idea-ON>!, Iconica, and Semiomorph. The final work, Semiomorph, combines the theory of ‘semiotic morphism’ with gameplay to create a digital game that generates blended realities.

Interactive Television: New Genres, New Format, New Content
Jens F. Jensen

The aim of this paper is to discuss some of the main issues associated with interactive genres, formats and content in the context of interactive television (ITV). First, a set of new forms or categorizations of ITV will be presented. Second, the suite of interactive genres, formats and applications that currently constitutes ITV will be introduced and discussed. And third, some general conclusions concerning interactivity, television and the interactive user/viewer will be drawn.

'Spheres of Influence' - An Interactive Musical Work
Andrew Johnston, Benjamin Marks, Ernest Edmonds

In this paper we describe the development of an interactive artwork which incorporates both a musical composition and software which provides a visual and aural accompaniment. The system uses physical modeling to implement a type of virtual ‘sonic sculpture’ which responds to musical input in a way which appears naturalistic. This work forms part of a larger project to use art to explore the potential of computers to develop interactive tools which support the development of creative musical skills.

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Dynamic Response: Real-Time Adaptation for Music Emotion
Steven R. Livingstone, Andrew R. Brown

Music plays an enormous role in today's computer games; it serves to elicit emotion, generate interest and convey important information. Traditional gaming music is fixed at the event level, where tracks loop until a state change is triggered. This behaviour however does not reflect musically the in-game state between these events. We propose a dynamic music environment, where music tracks adjust in real-time to the emotion of the ingame state. We are looking to improve the affective response to symbolic music through the modification of structural and performative characteristics through the application of rule-based techniques. In this paper we undertake a multidiscipline approach, and present a series of primary music-emotion structural rules for implementation. The validity of these rules was tested in small study involving eleven participants, each listening to six permutations from two musical works. Preliminary results indicate that the environment was generally successful in influencing the emotion of the musical works for three of the intended four directions (happier, sadder & content/dreamier). Our secondary aim of establishing that the use of music-emotion rules, sourced predominantly from Western classical music, could be applied with comparable results to modern computer gaming music was also largely successfully.

Labanotation for Design of Movement-Based Interaction
Lian Loke, Astrid T. Larssen, Toni Robertson

This paper reports findings from a study of Labanotation, an already established movement notation, as a design tool for movement-based interaction where movements of the human body are direct input to technology. Using Labanotation, we transcribed movements performed by players of two different EyetoyTM games. Our analysis identified a range of advantages and disadvantages of the potential use of Labanotation in design. Its major disadvantage is the effort required to learn how to use it. But it supports a representation of movement that can be easily linked into the context and point of interaction. This provides a valuable foundation for design of movement-based interaction.

Team Formation in Agent-Based Computer Games
Hongen Lu

Intelligent agents play an important role in computer games. Research on intelligent agent architecture, knowledge representation, goal-directed behavior are all directly relevant to improving the intelligent agents in computer games [9]. Agents are suitable to model and develop characters in computer games. To form an agent team in a computer game environment is extremely difficult. In this paper, a naïve Bayesian model is proposed for agent based characters to form teams. This approach brings a new angle for us to solve the connection problem for agents to work collaboratively in a dynamic and open environment, such as computer games.

Deliberation using Three Dimensions
Alyx Macfadyen, Andrew Stranieri

Three dimensional games are compelling and provide a forum for interactivity and engagement. A dramatically different environment from typical settings for the discussion of issues in addition the interactivity and all-engaging nature of the 3D environment is expected to facilitate deliberative attitudes. Complex reasoning if represented in a 3D environment is likely to be more compelling and interesting than the same issue represented using other means.

RAGE: A Multiplatform Game Engine
Leigh McCulloch, Adrian Hofman, Jim Tulip, Michael Antolovich

This paper discusses RAGE – a Java based open source game engine project. The RAGE project aims to abstract the various aspects of game engine functionality into a set a generic interfaces. Platform or API specific implementations of these interfaces then allow applications written for the RAGE engine to run without modification or recompilation on any of the target hardware/operating system configurations. RAGE: Rage is A Game Engine (

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What's good about bad play?
David Myers

Here I examine the semiotic form of some common and conventionally accepted notions of “bad play” – particularly as these are most relevantly applied to computer games, gamers, and gaming. To do this, I employ a formal method of analysis that treats bad play as play that, without regard to any specific cultural or normative context, plays with – and often against -- the rules. Within this analysis, digital games and their rules are positioned as a subset of a formal and cognitive mechanism guiding a broad set of behaviors in games, sports, and play. Identifying formal similarities between rules-based sports and games and less obviously rules-based (i. e., “free”) play allows the analysis to be extended beyond the relatively narrow domain of computer games. Conclusions find that bad play in digital games – prominently including cheats, griefs, and exploits – is formally similar to and, in fact, a logical extension of good, proper, and socially acceptable play. The analysis further concludes that, when defined as functioning in opposition to existing rules structures, bad play is not only a common but a necessary component of human play associated with creativity, insight, and change.

Distinguishing Simulation Games from Simulators by considering Design Characteristics
Viknashvaran Narayanasamy, Kok Wai Wong, Chun Che Fung, Arnold Depickere

The advent of powerful personal computers has made it possible for home users to experience simulation technology through Simulation Games (a.k.a. Sims). In recent years, the cross-boundary transfusion of technology along with other reasons has contributed towards the confusion, as to what makes a Simulation Game and what makes a Simulator. This aper provides a definitive comparison of the similarities and differences involved in Simulation Game and Simulator design. This paper also introduces a way to distinguish Simulation Games from Simulators using the design characteristics. As there are many different types of Simulation Games and Simulators available, this paper also provides methods to help identify the various types of Simulation Games and Simulators available.

The Case for the Narrative Brain
Ken Newman (presented by Robert Grigg)

Narrative is important for interactive systems because humans have narrative brains. In this paper, reviewing the case for the narrative brain from various fields of psychology and narrative theory, three themes emerge. The first theme is that there is a species-wide predisposition for and capability for narrative. The second is that since, at an individual level, humans don’t all develop the same level of narrative inclination or ability, individual narrative tendencies will be significant in causing the individual responses to an interactive system to vary considerably. The third theme is that there is a case for a set of species-wide archetypal narrative scripts embedded in the human psyche. Each of these narrative themes is presented and explored in terms of it’s relevance to understanding users’ experience of narrative in interactive systems. The paper goes on to describe a methodology for evaluating a user’s experience of narrative by first evaluating the user’s narrative tendencies.

The Flow Principle in Interactivity
Andrew Polaine

This paper argues that true interactivity is a feedback loop of action-reaction-interaction and involves collaboration or exchange (with real or computer agents). Central to this argument is physical interactivity as a defining feature of new media in addition to the psychological interaction with a work as Lev Manovich [27] describes. It is also argued that interactivity will always remain opposed to traditional narrative forms, but that a similar engagement and willing suspension of disbelief are equally important within interactive works if explored on interactivity’s own terms, especially through an understanding of play. The psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi [12, 13] has written extensively on the intrinsic pleasures of creative action and argues that activities can be rewarding in and of themselves, regardless of any goals or outcomes. Csikszentmihalyi describes this theory of the autotelic experience as the flow principle and it relates directly to the engagement with interactive experiences. Case studies are cited in which the flow principle can be applied to interactivity and shows that engagement may begin and end with playful experiences that are satisfying in their own right.

Composite Metaphor, Games and Interface
Amy Powell

Metaphors are often used within computer interfaces to provide the user with cognitive prompts of how to use the system. Using concepts related to objects with which the user is already familiar, to represent similar functions within the system, interface designers are able to provide significant cognitive scaffolding. This technique, however, usually relies on a real-world equivalent on which to base the metaphor. In some computer systems, and in computer games in particular, often there are no directly analogous objects on which metaphorical prompts can be based. This has driven game designers to utilise composite metaphors; metaphors where a combination of objects, or a combination of objects and actions, are used to provide cognitive clues. This paper examines how composite metaphor is used within computer games to articulate the designers’ conceptual model, subsequently guiding the user’s development of an appropriate and accurate mental model.

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Actors vs. Animation for Adult Learning ?
Debbie Richards, Jason Barles

While computer based training has been around for decades, the marriage of games and education is not so old. Given that education often focuses on the learning of children and children love playing games, the marriage is destined to last. What is not so clear is whether playing games is suited to adult learning. Our focus is on workplace training of adults to allow them to experience certain situations rather than to pass on book-type knowledge. Many challenges face us in this endeavour. To focus our attention on those aspects that are critical for learning from training simulations we present our findings from the first in a number of studies. This study looks at the value of watching actors in a video compared to observing game characters involved in a similar scenario in terms of what is noticed, remembered and able to be reasoned about to determine how the media compare as training devices.

Opening Doors to Interactive Play Spaces: Fragmenting Story Structure into Games
Lori M. Shyba, J. R. Parker

By definition, postmodernism and its “fragmentation of time into a series of perpetual presents” provides opportunities for the modular and fragmented story structure of postmodern theatre and cinema to be reinvented as non-linear games and interactive play spaces. This potential is magnified when the theatre art and cinema are hybridized into “Integrated Performance Media,” (IPM) — a computer- mediated theatre-art form that effectively enables the transformation of audience members into gameplayers with the power to affect changes in the story narrative. In this paper, we specifically describe how the fragmentary and temporally non-linear story construction of the Spies in the Oilpatch IPM script opens doors of opportunity for audience/players to participate in the spatial exploration of interactive play spaces, notably computer games and virtual reality environments.

User Modelling in Computer Games - Performance Measurement in Quake 3 Arena
David Storey

Computer Games are a major industry with a growing research presence – a presence that focuses on many different aspects, from technological to philosophical, of games and their influence on the world. User Modelling is one research area that has been overlooked in computer games and we believe holds the potential to create more detailed performance measurements of players across all game genres. Our research has been focusing specifically on the genre of First Person Shooters and this paper outlines our motivation, initial implementation, results and discussion of those results.

High-level Control Posture of Story Characters Based on Personality and Emotion
Wen-Poh Su, Binh Pham, Aster Wardhani

Human emotional behavior and personality are essential elements in the recognition of a believable synthetic character. This paper examines the connections between human personality, emotion, and behavior used in an interactive storytelling system. We adopt the Abridged Big Five Circumplex Model (AB5C) of personality from psychology study as a basis for a computational model. We construct a hierarchical fuzzy rule-based system to facilitate the personality and emotion control of a dynamic story character. The system takes advantage of the relevant knowledge described by psychologists and researchers of storytelling, non-verbal communication, and human movement. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate the high-level control of a synthetic character. Personality and emotional states are mapped onto the body’s movements, which give storytelling players/designers an effective way to control synthetic characters through high-level personality and emotion controlling mechanisms.

Future-proofing advergaming: a systematisation for the media buyer.
Mattias Svahn

The idea of using games as carriers for goal-oriented strategically shaped rhetorical messages, i.e. advertising and propaganda, has been much talked about. Those who produce games take an interest in such messages as a way to find new revenue streams and new customers. Media strategists are interested in finding the audiences that are leaving traditional media and turning to games. It could be fruitful for media strategists and game producers to meet, but as the meaning of the term advergaming is becoming diluted, that meeting is becoming difficult. This paper is an attempt to facilitate such a meeting by giving an overview of the planned rhetorical functions of ludic activities. This will hopefully lead to a structure of concepts useful to the scientist as well as to the practicing communications strategy planner.

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The Future of Interactive Drama
Nicolas Szilas

Interactive Drama is the ultimate challenge of digital entertainment. In this paper, from our seven year experience in Interactive Drama, we try to shape the history of the field and envision what will be (or should be) the future of this history. Two main directions in particular are stressed, because we feel that the success of Interactive Drama lies in these two directions. The first one concerns the architecture of systems and how it would manage both narrative constraints and character's intelligence, believability and roundness. The second one focuses on project management by sketching a methodology of co-design for Interactive Drama.

Video Games, Fiction, and Emotion
Grant Tavinor

Video gaming can be an emotional experience, as anybody who as torn their hair out over a particularly difficult game will know. In this paper I argue that various sources in cognitive science and the philosophy of the arts can be used to explain the role of the emotions in video gaming. Modern video games comprise a new and sophisticated type of fictional work. Video games involve a distinctly interactive form of fictive practice and because of this the role of the emotions in the playing of video games is distinctive to that fictive form. I argue that the emotions act to frame our interests in the fictions of video games, motivating and enabling the playing of those games.

Suit Keen Renovator: Alternate Reality Design
truna aka j.turner, Ann Morrison

Virtual territories and their theme parks are more akin to the physical world of real estate than they might at first appear. The trick in triggering the designer’s imagination, is to find a ‘nice renovator’ (cottage/ house) at a low price, with loads of potential, and by doing it on the cheap to add character, and engage the imagination. Here the designer can construct changes from an imagined space. Vision is more important than how the actual place presents. This work describes a case study involving undergraduate students in the Creative Industries who needed a place to explore, so as to create their own visions and projects. The place had to inspire, trigger engagement, and their imaginations. At the same time it was important that the place did not coerce activity, or distract from the task by confusing tools with task, or architectural navigation with conceptual skills. The solution was an alternate reality.

The Game Master
Anders Tychsen, Michael Hitchens, Thea Brolund, Manolya Kavakli

The concept of a Game Master (GM) is associated with a range of functions in role playing-based games, from pen and paper role playing games to live action-, computer- and massively multiplayer online role playing games. The functionality of the GM across game platforms is directly related to a handful of variables. In spite of being a core concept in role playing games, the full range of tools provided to GMs have not been fully integrated across the game platforms. The introduction of GM functionality in multiplayer computer role playing games such as Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption and Neverwinter Nights, indicate a substantial potential for development of toolsets for human-controlled interactive, emergent storytelling environments in virtual worlds, at several levels of functionality. Giving control of the game world to the players encourages a dynamic form of storytelling in games which is more reactive, and tailored to the specific players, than what is currently possible using pre-programmed static narratives or automated storytelling engines.

Towards a Framework for Designing Speech-Based Player Interaction in Multiplayer Online Games
Greg Wadley, Martin R. Gibbs, Peter Benda

In this paper we consider the question of how best to design voice communication for use in online multiplayer games. We propose a framework to helps shape both our understanding of games and how we approach games as objects of study and as artifacts to be designed. The framework suggests a focus on designing player-to-player interaction within games. We discuss existing implementations of voice communication in multiplayer games, and the metaphors implicit in their design. We propose alternative metaphors that might be used in future designs. We conclude with an outline of work currently in progress that is attempting to understand how best to design for voice communication in Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs).

Information-Oriented Design and Game AI
Sebastian Welsh, Yusuf Pisan

Information is a resource that every AI relies on to operate effectively. Although information influences the capabilities and performance of AIs, it is not treated as a design issue. Changing the information available to an AI can potentially enhance or cripple its performance. More direct evaluation of issues such as information selection and acquisition can improve the performance of existing AI implementations. The influence of information on AI behaviour is examined with an emphasis on virtual worlds and game AI, as this domain provides both an effective research environment and opportunities for tangible improvements to AI behaviour.

Fast Individual Face Modeling and Animation
Mandun Zhang, Jian Yao, Bin Ding, Yangsheng Wang

We present a fast algorithm for individual face modeling and animation. The method mainly has four steps. Firstly, feature points and 2D information are extracted from frontal face by a RealBoost-Gabor ASM method. Then, we propose a novel searching approach based on geometrical measurement, and select the similar generic model from database. We can calculate the lateral parameters and estimate the depth information of facial feature points. And, the corresponding generic model is deformed and texture is remapped to generate the individual face. Finally, we implement Radial Basis Functions (RBF) deformation to retarget the generic animation and generate individual facial animation.

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Sonic Tai Chi - Auditory Gestures in Reactive Soundspaces
Joanne Jakovich, Kirsty Beilharz

Sonic Tai Chi is an interactive soundlab for exploring the relationship between environmental intelligence and human interaction. Spaces that intelligently respond to our actions are increasingly part of our work, play and learning environments. However the use of sound for both interfacing and specifying these environments is still in stages of early exploration. The Sonic Tai Chi soundspace extends the function of a typical interactive installation. It is a lab for developing the foundations for intelligent interactive environments whereby sound is used not as an ambient measure or indication of human interaction or environmental intelligence, but actively employed as a spatio-temporal medium for designing space and spatial experience using gestures.

Sonic Tai Chi will be displayed in Beta_Space at the Powerhouse Museum as part of IE2005.

The Pipeline Pinball Energy Thrill Ride Game: A Little Theatre in a Computer Game
Lori M. Shyba, J. R. Parker

Our world is in a dilemma. We’re hooked on hydrocarbons and unless we stop spinning the gears of fossil-fuel dependency we risk being held ransom by what that industry observers call a “logic-defying rally based on fear and speculation.” (The National Post, August 2005) As human beings, we don’t deserve to be victimized by fear factors ranging from Middle-East politics and terrorism to refinery shut downs and turbo-moneymaking bullishness. No one can fully predict the future but it’s easy to see that the stakes are high. For the sake of the world economy and our own peace of mind as individuals, we need to pull out all the stops on alternative energy research and development to help spiral our way out of a vicious circle of fear and fossil fuel dependency. This is where “The Pipeline Pinball Energy Thrill Ride Game” comes into being. This lecture demonstration, meant to accompany a viewing of the game design video, intertextualizes the video’s script with the “action story” of the computer pinball game’s narrative along pathways of non-linear risks and plot surprises that make it a “little theatre in a serious game.” “The Pipeline Pinball Energy Thrill Ride Game” game design is part of Lori Shyba “Spies in the Oilpatch” practice-based PhD dissertation at The University of Calgary, Canada, where the operative inquiry is, “How can computer-mediated interactive theatre activate us to better understand our world’s natural energy resources?

Hubscape: Ambient Display as Physical Space
Andrew Vande Moere, Mitchell Page, Sze Wai Carmen Lau, Helena Cauchi Matthew Tracey

Hubscape is a spatial ambient visualization installation developed by a group of undergraduate students in a studio-led course unit. It uses standard home automation hardware and multiple multimedia projections to display real-time, abstract datasets in physical space. The system extracts electronic and sensorial data in real time to generate data-driven atmospheres in space through electrically controlled devices and visual projections. Hubscape is aesthetically integrated into a computer lab hub room’s architecture to unobtrusively reflect nearby electronic and human activities, such as network traffic, timetable information, and temperature, motion and sound measurements.

Time Smear Demo
Andrew Polaine

My primary area of research is trying to develop, or at least contribute to, a language of interactivity. Central to this process is the notion that play and playfulness appear to be central features of interactivity along with the physicality of the interaction (even down to mouse movements). The Time Smear demo is part of a series of works that deal with live video and the slicing of time as interactive building blocks. The use of a camera as the interface effectively dissolves the interface and thus the interaction (and in this case the interactor) becomes the content, the experience and the “work” itself.

BigPond V8 Supercar 2005 Race Season
Adrian Wiggins, James Mc Parlane

The BigPond V8 Supercar broadband site provides a hybrid streaming experience of a complex sporting event by combining synchronised video, with real-time competitor telemetry and standings data in a single rich interface. Further development in 2005 has resulted in a launch of the system for the Windows Media Center (WMC) platform. The site, in both its traditional broadband and WMC forms, indicates future directions and possibilities for streamed live event content with video and data-feeds. A demonstration of the two site versions is available at

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Panel Discussion

'Scalded! Computer game ethics and the Hot Coffee controversy'

Earlier this year the biggest selling computer game in the country was banned after revelations that the game contained hidden sex scenes - the so-called 'hot coffee mods' to the game Grand Theft Auto San Andreas.

This conference panel session brings together key participants from the parties to this controversy: the government regulator that imposed the ban, the industry peak body that resisted it, and a leading academic studying games and community attitudes.

Following presentations from the panellists will be questions and discussion, beginning with responses from discussants Matt Watts and Rowan Tulloch.

What happened and why? How are games different from other media? What ethical challenges and opportunities do games present for players, designers, regulators, researchers and the wider community?

Chair: Chris Chesher is Director of Arts Informatics at the University of Sydney, the interdisciplinary program in digital communication and culture.

Panel members:
Paul Hunt is Deputy Director of the Classification Board of the Office of Film & Literature Classification.

Chris Hanlon is Chief Executive Officer with the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA).

Jeffrey Brand is Associate Professor of Communication and Media, and Director of the Centre for New Media Research at Bond University.

Matt Watts recently completed a thesis on legal issues around the hot coffee incident as part of his Honours degree in Bachelor of Business / Laws (LLB) at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Rowan Tulloch is a PhD candidate studying cultural aspects of games in the School of Media, Film and Theatre at the University of New South Wales.

You may want to read Chris Chesher's article which appeared at for a general background to this topic.

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The Art of Play: Player Centric Design and the Process of Innovation
Tracy Fullerton

Creating digital games is an uncommon mixture of art, science, economics and entertainment. Today's game industry is already quite accomplished in terms of innovating new technologies and features, but in order for games to reach their potential as an expressive medium, they must become just as accomplished in terms of innovating new areas of game play and emotional experience. This talk will focus on the creative and process issues involved in exploring these types new game designs and outline a method for innovation and risk-taking that involves the player in every step of the design process.

Life After Wartime
Ross Gibson

Life After Wartime (2004) is a 'dramatic database' that offers a complex but coordinated set of micro-narratives in response to investigators' interactions with a database comprised of hundreds of crime scene photographs, thousands of enigmatic haiku texts and innumerable dark, minimalist sound files. Life After Wartime is a collaboration involving Ross Gibson, Kate Richards, Greg White, Aaron Seymour and Chris Abrahams. It was produced with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission and UTS.

Prototyping emerging media
Peter Giles, Laboratory for Advanced Media Production, AFTRS

Australia's premier emerging media development incubator. LAMP is a compelling mix of seminars, workshops, immersive rapid prototyping residentials and product development. Project teams from around Australia are guided by mentors and industry partners with expertise in technical, business, design and user experience.

Next LAMP Residential Lab - March 06
Register your interest now at:

Interactive Narrative
pighead (aka Mark Meadows)

This talks considers the different kinds of narrative that we are seeing now, mostly appearing in video games, covering such topics as the emergence of interactive narrative, some key points to consider as it continues to develop, and questions and comments surrounding the structure of most forms if interactive narrative.

Telephone Repair: Re-imagining the Mobile
Mark Pesce

Two billion people have mobile headsets, most of them GPRS-enabled. The era of global, ubiquitous networking is already here. So what happens after we're all connected? Does the mobile phone actually service the needs of an always-plugged-in species? We could radically rethink the mobile phone, realizing its potential as a "personal social portal", developing something far more useful than two tin cans on a string. What design principles should be embodied in a 21st-century mobile, and how could they change the way we live?

Playing in the Parallel World / staking a claim from commerce to culture
Stacey Spiegel

Throughout the history of human consciousness we have explored multiple realities as a means of expressing differing aspects of perception. From Mycenaean artworks to Literary classics to Contemporary Cinema the narrative stories of heroes and enemies has captivated our collective imaginations and influenced the fundamental direction of our lives. Over time these artistic forms of expression have come to represent a parallel world, a safe haven to freely explore and express ones alter ego.

Cyberspace is the next evolutionary step for human kind in the parallel world. Ubiquitous networking has opened us up to an alternative world where we are learning fast to co-inhabit multiple worlds simultaneously. In this context game developers and players are the explorers of our age. Like the navigator Captain Cook in his time these gamers are staking claim to the obvious riches they have uncovered. If this is only the beginning then what opportunities lay beyond. This talk will provide a perspective on commerce and culture in the parallel world, looking into the past, reviewing the present and contemplating the future.

Building blocks for a computational model of interactive narrative
R. Michael Young

A host of factors ranging from increased computational power in PCs to the wide-spread availability of web-based services is encouraging new models of interaction within computer games. In this talk, I'll cover work from the Liquid Narrative Group that focuses on the development of computational models of interactive narrative. In our work, we've adapted models of storytelling from narratology, film theory, cognitive psychology and other related disciplines and are building these models into a service-oriented architecture for creating and controlling stories within game environments. I'll sketch out the models we use and (hopefully) demonstrate the value of using formal representations as their basis. I'll describe the directions we're following in our current work and relate the systems we've built to their effectiveness at conveying aspects of stories in interactive entertainment.

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