Mobile Drama in an Instrumented Museum: Inducing Group Conversation via Coordinated Narratives
Museum visits can be more enjoyable to small groups if they can be both social and educational experiences. One very rewarding aspect of a visit, especially those involving small groups such as families, is the unmediated group discussion that can ensue during a shared cultural experience. We present a situated, mobile museum system that delivers an hour-long drama to museum visitors. It perceives and analyzes group behavior, uses the result to dynamically deliver coordinated dramatic narrative presentations about the nearby museum exhibit, with the expected result of stimulating group discussion. To accomplish this, our drama-based presentations contain small, complementary differences in the content delivered to each participant, leveraging the narrative tension/release cycle of drama to naturally lead visitors to fill in missing pieces by interacting with friends, thus initiating a conversation. We present two evaluations for these story variations, one in a closed, non-mobile environment, and the other a formative evaluation to gauge how well the methodology used in the non-mobile evaluation performs in evaluating the fully implemented system in a real museum environment.
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