A Robust Interactive Narrative Framework for Edutainment
Samiullah Paracha and
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Samiullah Paracha: Yufu City Board of Education, Japan
Osamu Yoshie: Waseda University, Japan
International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST), 2012, vol. 2, issue 1, 18-35
Over the last decade, interactive edutainment systems have not only moved into the mainstream, they have spread beyond the niche area of interest in the field of artificial intelligence. Edutainment, also known as educational entertainment or entertainment-education, denotes those software applications that are designed to educate, as well as provide fun. Presented is an interactive narrative framework that has been applied to develop the Shimpai Muyou!, an interactive drama in virtual reality. This edutainment application was created to help Japanese school-age children develop anti-bullying skills and practice coping strategies through empathic interactions with intelligent virtual agents. Narrative management was used to ensure that virtual situations led to the desired learning outcomes. A computer agent was employed as a story manager to select appropriate episodes and characters that would potentiate the occurrence of certain events favoring particular authored purposes. Although the situations were pre-designed, the characters autonomously decided their actions while performing their roles. Qualitative data obtained through several small group discussions with twenty 5th and 6th graders are presented.
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