The Impact of the Characteristics of a Virtual Environment on Performance: Concepts, Constraints and Complications
Mark Childs, Joff Chafer
This event took place on 20th November 2008 at 10:15am (10:15 GMT)
In April and May, 2008, two scenes from Hamlet were performed live in a recreation of the Globe Theatre in SecondLife (R) to an inworld audience, by a troupe of performers known as the SL Shakespeare Company.
The performance was mediated through voice, through the representation of the avatars, through gestures and through the positioning of the avatars within the stage space. All of these have links to other forms of performance, particularly masked performances and puppetry.
Barriers to performance included the lag between lines being delivered and being heard. This was compensated for by the performers and the support mechanisms that were put in place.
The role of technology in telematic and virtual performances is similar, in that performances that explore the nature of the technological platform are more successful than when technology is intended to be an imperceptible mediator of performance.
One of the elements that was lacking to convey a sense of realism in the performance was individuation and subtlety in gestures. Part of the elements that convey realism within an environment is imperfection and small variation. Further work will explore the creation of choral gestures inworld with small differentiation between each performer.
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