Virtual Improv

Using Virtual Environments and Acting Theory to promote Social Intelligence

virtualimprovSocial Intelligence, the ability to function effectively within a group is a critical human skill, requiring awareness of the social environment, concern for others, as well as the ability to harness and develop human relationships. Learning how to cope within a social situation requires participants to be selective about their physical non-verbal behavior as these behaviors impact social socials, trust, and rapport. Currently, there are only few interactive experiences that engage participants in narratives allowing them to exercise non-verbal behaviors that influence social relationships and attitudes conveyed. In this project, we aim to borrow from work on improvisational theatre and acting theory to develop a multi-agent interactive narrative allowing participants to engage in an interactive social situation, and learn about the influence of their non-verbal behaviors on others. The design of the system and the underlying tools and technologies contribute to several communities, including HCI, Interactive Narrative, and Graphics communities.

PhD Students: Elin Carstensdottir
Masters Students: Peili Cao, Rhea Xu, Nilesh Shahdadpuri
Undergraduate Students: Sean Elks, Alexander Jeney

Faculty: Magy Seif El-Nasr (PI), Matthew Gray (Co-PI), Stacy Marsella (Co-PI)