University of Oulu

Rich interaction model for game and virtual environment design

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Author: Manninen, Tony1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2004
Publish Date: 2004-02-20
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Raahensali (Auditorium L10), Linnanmaa, on February 20th, 2004, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Professor Steve Benford
Professor Tapio Takala


The focus of this thesis is on perceivable interaction forms that can be utilised in multi-player computer games and Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs). Interaction forms are manifestations of user-user and user-environment interaction. These forms convey the actions of the user to others, and to oneself, during synchronous communication and interaction partially resembling face-to-face encounters in the physical world.

The communication, co-ordination and collaboration difficulties in current 3D CVEs have yet to be overcome. The aim of this thesis is to conceptualise and delineate the available mutually perceivable interaction forms. The research analyses entertainment industry solutions and examines their potential as providers of design implications for CVE systems in general. Furthermore, games are used as platforms in the construction phases of the research. The research answers the problems of what interaction forms exist in multi-player games and what are their main characteristics and how to apply the understanding of possible interaction forms in order to help the design of games and professionally used CVEs? The problems are approached with conceptual analytical and constructive methods. Delineation and categorisation of various interaction forms in games and CVEs is presented. The gap between theoretical models and practical design is bridged by using several empirical cases as a constructive part of the research.

The significance of this research is related to the increasingly important role of CVEs in global organisations and virtual enterprises, as well as in the everyday life of people. The communicational and functional enhancements of the virtual environments and multi-player games make the interpersonal interaction more usable and applicable in computer mediated settings. The research provides a deeper understanding of the concept of interaction forms in the context of CVEs and multi-player games. The results can be used to create more supportive, appealing and communicative applications by applying interaction models and theories in the form of rich interaction design guidelines.

The main contributions of this research are the conceptual models of interaction forms and corresponding rich interaction design suggestions. The results reveal important and neglected aspects of interaction forms to the world of game and virtual environment designers. Combined with the descriptions of interaction design processes the overall outcome of the work is applicable to a wide audience designing or using computer systems that support communication, co-ordination and collaboration.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 951-42-7254-4
ISBN Print: 951-42-7253-6
Issue: 409
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2004. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.