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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

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