[-empyre-] Aesthetics of single user works / versus multi user works

Hi Taylor -

I actually have tried to get various venues to do a multi-user event with Beyond Manzanar, but no one has taken me up on it so far. The idea was to give virtual tours within the space, including myself and my co-author Zara in two widely separated locations (California and Germany) with two different live crowds at each end.

Beyond Manzanar was actually originally planned as an online multi-user piece, but I realized quite soon that having other avatars in the space mostly pulls your attention away from the rest of the content. Since I wanted the piece to be a contemplative experience between you and the landscape, I decided it was better to make it an offline, solo, immersive experience rather than online and shared.

I think to make a successful multi-user work you really need to understand what "added value" is provided by other users in the space, and orient your piece towards this. In the best of circumstances the other users are an enrichment; all too often they are an annoying distraction, because they are there with some other agenda. ("Hey I'm new to VRML how did you build this" is a fine conversation to build the bonds of the VRML user crowd, but it doesn't add to your experience of the virtual artwork.

- tamiko

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 21:47:44 +0100
From: "Taylor Nuttall" <taylor@greenquarter.co.uk>
Subject: [-empyre-] thoughts on aesthetics

Aesthetics of single user works / versus multi user works

So I am intrigued with a question of my own as to whether there are
different aesthetics associated with single user / multi user spaces.

Obviously interface elements play a part in this, but what about the
structures inherent in the space or narratives embedded into the coding etc.
I know Simon has already spoken in detail of his ideas relating to a multi
user experience and also there has been some discussion on non-Cartesian

But how would our experience of say Beyond Manzanar change if we met other
avatars in the space?

-- ---------------------------------- Tamiko Thiel Media Artist



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