Monday, 9. May 2005

What is a spectator?

Following Meyerhold, Antohin offers the definition:

Spectator = Director = Character = Actor
Thirty years later I still ask the same question -- where does theatre begin?

I know the answer.

Not with an actor, but with your gaze at the space which becomes stage, charged with your expectations. Yes, theatre starts with the public.

Public could be one single soul. It's me, director. I prepare the spectacle for them, I know what they want because I am a spectator myself. I know what I want to see.

Directing is easy, to be a spectator is not...
"Theatre starts with the public." Bot Creators often refer to their Spectators as clients. Extended into the botmaster's domain, the above equation reads:

Spectator = Director = Character = Actor = client | bot

Assumption #2, again. Turing's assumption.

The theatre experience starts with the public's gaze. The chatbot experience starts with the client sending the CONNECT string.


A notational convention that I follow:

code = Metaphor

Metaphor = Actor | Creator | Spectator | Director | Story | ...

Different folks got different problems

Andrew Stern, who moderated the panel "Why Isn’t the Game Industry Making Interactive Stories?" at the GDC in March, posted about his experience today. I read the Powerpoint presentation he made for the event. For quite some time now, Andrew has voiced concern about what he percieves to be a central problem for Creators in Interactive Storytelling: the "conundrum of interactive stories: if you are given the freedom to do what you want, how can a well-formed story be created?"

Many people seem to share his view. I don't. I just can't see it.

I'm sure that it has to do with my choice of medium: bots. A chatbot interface always lets the client type whatever s/he wants. It takes any string (even the "null"-string - when the client just hits [Enter] as a "conversational act"). Any attempt at storytelling has to reflect this condition.

The designer of such a system has to assume infinite ressources on the client side. Infinite storage capacity for an infinite amount of available input sentences. Infinite processing time between input acts. Always-on, one-hundred-percent freedom. So until I was told so, it never occured to me that interactivity and storytelling could be in conflict at all. To me, things simply look like this:

Interaction = Conflict = Story

My real-life model for Interactive Storytelling is improvisational acting rooted in the Method and Biomechanics, and that particular problem simply doesn't figure in my domain.

I have very different problems.

Recent Comments

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