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Chimeria

Chimeria: Gatekeeper

“Chimeria:Gatekeeper” is a playable interactive conversational scenario, authored using the Chimeria Platform It uses a cognitive science-grounded model of social category membership to customize how conversational narratives unfold. Conversations between characters are important aspects of many videogames. However, most such conversational interactions in videogames are quite limited in how they take into account the identities of those characters. Conversation in videogames typically varies, if at all, based only on one aspect of the character such as an NPC referring to the character by race, class, or a gendered pronoun. Chimeria: Gatekeeper is an application of the Chimeria Platform, which seeks to developing conversational narratives that addresses such limitations.

Computationally Modeling Narratives of Social Group Membership with the Chimeria System

D. Fox Harrell
Dominic Kao
Chong-U Lim
Proceedings of the 2013 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative – a satellite workshop of CogSci 2013: The 35th meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Berlin, Germany, July 31 – August 3, 2013. pp. 123 – 128

Stories of Stigma and Acceptance Using the Chimeria Platform

D. Fox Harrell
Dominic Kao
Chong-U Lim
Jason Lipshin
Ainsley Sutherland
Electronic Literature Organization Conference 2014: Hold the Light (ELO 2014), Milwaukee, WI, June 19 – June 21, 2014. 3 pp.

An Intelligent Narrative System for Modeling Social Identity-Related Experiences

D. Fox Harrell
Dominic Kao
Chong-U Lim
Jason Lipshin
Ainsley Sutherland
Intelligent Narrative Technologies 7 Workshop (INT 7), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI. June 17-18, 2014.

Authoring Conversational Narratives in Games with the Chimeria Platform

D. Fox Harrell
Dominic Kao
Chong-U Lim
Jason Lipshin
Ainsley Sutherland
Julia Makivic
Danielle Olsen
In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2014), Fort Lauderdale, FL, April 3 – April 7, 2014. Designated Exemplary Paper. 8 pp.

Launching Chimeria

Today, we are happy to announce the launch of Chimeria!

Chimeria is a system to help people explore and better understand experiences related to social group membership such as privilege and marginalization. Everyone belongs to social categories based on factors such as musical preference, fashion, gender, or race. Yet, some category members are more central, privileged, or marginalized than others. Membership in such social categories is also dynamic: whether someone is a member or not may change over time, and this both occurs within and between groups.

These dynamics of group membership are simulated in Chimeria using an artificial intelligence-driven interactive story. Users interact with various characters within a novel social networking interface. Based on a player’s musical preferences and decisions in an online conversation, the system dynamically generates an interactive conversation centered upon snippets of music that takes place between the user and the other characters. This interactive conversation, grounded in a sociolinguistics model of conversational narrative, allows an engaging experience in which players may encounter various social category membership phenomena which occur in the real-world.

You can play Chimeria here: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/icelab/chimeria/
More information on Chimeria, including some of our research, here: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/icelab/?q=node/138

Chimeria

Everyone belongs to social categories based on factors such as musical preference, fashion, gender, or race. Yet, some category members are more central, privileged, or marginalized than others. Membership in such social categories is also dynamic: whether someone is a member or not may change over time, both within and between groups. Chimeria is a system to help people better understand social categorization phenomena such as marginalization and the dynamics of group membership. Chimeria does this through an interactive narrative. Consider the following story on a music-oriented social network:

A punk rock music fan decides to listen to a little jazz. She listens to a couple of albums by the jazz musician Thelonious Monk, but however, still continues to post messages only about punk rock. She grows tired of being a punk rocker (who dabbles in jazz on the side), so listens again only to hardcore punk rock music. But now, upon returning back to punk rock, punk rock seems to have lost its luster. She finally decides to forsake punk rock and become a jazz fan...for good.

In this story, a central member of a category moves toward the margins of the category, back toward the center, and finally changes categories altogether at the end. This pattern of movement within and between categories is the sort of phenomenon that Chimeria models mathematically. The story could have been one of racial or gender group membership; but for the initial version of Chimeria we have chosen music-related identity as a focus domain.

These dynamics of group membership are simulated in Chimeria using an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven interactive story. Users interact with various characters within a novel social networking interface. Based on a player’s musical preferences and decisions in an online conversation, the system dynamically generates an interactive conversation centered upon snippets of music that takes place between the user and the other characters. This interactive conversation, grounded in a sociolinguistics model of conversational narrative, allows an engaging experience in which players may encounter various social category membership phenomena which occur in the real-world.

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