Agent-Based Modelling of Emotional Goals in Digital Media Design Projects

Agent-Based Modelling of Emotional Goals in Digital Media Design Projects

James Marshall (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5969-6.ch008

Abstract

The author promotes agent-oriented models to identify, represent, and evaluate high-level abstractions of digital media design projects. The models include emotional goals, in addition to functional goals and quality goals, to describe feelings such as having fun, being engaged, and feeling cared for. To establish emotional goals, digital media design methods and processes were employed including the development of emotional scripts, user profiles, mood boards and followed an iterative creative design process. Using agent-oriented models proved to be highly successful not only to represent emotional goals such as fun, tension, and empathy but also to facilitate the ideation, creation, and progressive evaluation of projects. The design process supported communication between designers, developers, and other stakeholders in large multidisciplinary development teams by providing a shared language and a common artefact. The process is demonstrated by describing the development of Aspergion, a multiplayer online role play game that promotes respect for people with Asperger's Syndrome.
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Emotional Goals In Design

Sociotechnical systems may contain complex interactions between people and technology. A sociotechnical system can be defined as a system that includes hardware and software, has defined operational processes and offers an interface, implemented in software, to humans.

Sociotechnical systems exist to support human activities, such as guarding of a building, trading, planning a route, and flirting. (Sterling & Taveter, 2009)

The consideration of emotions is important in the development of many sociotechnical systems. If a computer game does not feel fun, we will not play it; if an ecommerce website does not feel trustworthy (irrespective of the actual security) we will not purchase from it; and if a social networking application does not feel engaging we will not use it. We describe these as the emotional goals of the system, which we define as goals that aim to affect people’s emotional state or wellbeing. These include basic emotions such as happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust, human factors like engagement and flow and more abstract descriptions of feelings such as fresh, cool, wicked and fun.

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