This paper addresses a sensitive issue, of presence experienced by people interacting with a virtual environment (VE). Understanding ‘presence’, both theoretically and empirically, is important for designers interested in building effective computer-mediated environments for learning and work activities. The concept of presence has been treated mostly as a state of mind, to be investigated through ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ measurement devices. The authors propose to add a different approach, which can address presence as an action-based process. This approach considers presence as the ongoing result of the actions performed in an environment and the local and cultural resources deployed by actors. In this sense, ‘presence’ can be captured by monitoring the sequence of participants’ actions and the aspects of the environment that are involved in this process; discourse/interaction analysis represents a fitting method for this goal. Sequences of interaction with a virtual library are used to illustrate some core aspects of an ethnographic, action-based approach to presence, such as the action possibilities envisaged by participants, the configuration of the virtual objects, the norms that regulate the interaction, the resources that are imported in the VE. These aspects are a necessary step to understand users’ presence in the VE and to plan consequent interventions to ameliorate the design of the interface.

An ethnographic, action-based approach to human experience in virtual environments

SPAGNOLLI, ANNA;VAROTTO Diego;MANTOVANI, GIUSEPPE
2003

Abstract

This paper addresses a sensitive issue, of presence experienced by people interacting with a virtual environment (VE). Understanding ‘presence’, both theoretically and empirically, is important for designers interested in building effective computer-mediated environments for learning and work activities. The concept of presence has been treated mostly as a state of mind, to be investigated through ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ measurement devices. The authors propose to add a different approach, which can address presence as an action-based process. This approach considers presence as the ongoing result of the actions performed in an environment and the local and cultural resources deployed by actors. In this sense, ‘presence’ can be captured by monitoring the sequence of participants’ actions and the aspects of the environment that are involved in this process; discourse/interaction analysis represents a fitting method for this goal. Sequences of interaction with a virtual library are used to illustrate some core aspects of an ethnographic, action-based approach to presence, such as the action possibilities envisaged by participants, the configuration of the virtual objects, the norms that regulate the interaction, the resources that are imported in the VE. These aspects are a necessary step to understand users’ presence in the VE and to plan consequent interventions to ameliorate the design of the interface.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2470351
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