Jacquelyn Ford Morie and Edward Haynes: “Storytelling with Storyteller Agents in Second Life”

September 27, 2012 | Darmstadt, Germany

Speaker: Jacquelyn Ford Morie and Edward Haynes
Host: Cyberworlds 2012

Abstract: The “Coming Home” project at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies was started in 2009 to research how virtual worlds could facilitate health care activities for returning US military personnel, who frequently suffer from psychological and physical challenges. These challenges include increased stress and loss of self- esteem related to the war events they have experienced. As part of the activities of Coming Home, we implemented an ambitious storytelling activity that reinforces the positive ideals for which a warrior stands, by presenting historical figures from the past that illustrate those qualities. The storytelling includes scenes from a warrior’s life, and a conversational avatar agent that can answer questions about the historical parts of the story. We have also created an interactive authoring system to allow users to make their own story to populate the SL storytelling space. Although visualized and experienced in world, the authoring tools and repository for most of the narrative content are web-based. Scripts within Second Life fetch this authored data and media and display it in the appropriate places. We also report on progress in building a tool with which users can author their own storytelling agent as part of the story they create.