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What is Performative Mediation

Bridging the Gap Between AI, Cognitive Science, and Narratology With Narrative Generation
The process of integrating information outside the domain of the game design for the construction of a character. An actor’s personal experiences, an awareness of the distorting features of camera optics. These are external information that often is considered in an actor’s performance preparation for a character and its role.
Published in Chapter:
Multi-Disciplinary Paths to Actor-Centric Non-Player Character Emotion Models
Sheldon Schiffer (Georgia State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4864-6.ch002
Video game non-player characters (NPCs) are a type of agent that often inherits emotion models and functions from ancestor virtual agents. Few emotion models have been designed for NPCs explicitly, and therefore do not approach the expressive possibilities available to live-action performing actors nor hand-crafted animated characters. With distinct perspectives on emotion generation from multiple fields within narratology and computational cognitive psychology, the architecture of NPC emotion systems can reflect the theories and practices of performing artists. This chapter argues that the deployment of virtual agent emotion models applied to NPCs can constrain the performative aesthetic properties of NPCs. An actor-centric emotion model can accommodate creative processes for actors and may reveal what features emotion model architectures should have that are most useful for contemporary game production of photorealistic NPCs that achieve cinematic acting styles and robust narrative design.
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