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id ga9926
authors Antonini, Riccardo
year 1999
title Let's Improvise Together
source International Conference on Generative Art
summary The creators of ‘Let's-Improvise-Together’ adhere to the idea that while there is a multitude of online games now available in cyberspace, it appears that relatively few are focused on providing a positive, friendly and productive experience for the user. Producing this kind of experience is one the goals of our Amusement Project.To this end, the creation of ‘Let's Improvise Together’ has been guided by dedication to the importance of three themes:* the importance of cooperation,* the importance of creativity, and* the importance of emotion.Description of the GameThe avatar arrives in a certain area where there are many sound-blocks/objects. Or he may add sound "property" to existing ones. He can add new objects at will. Each object may represents a different sound, they do not have to though. The avatar walks around and chooses which objects he likes. Makes copies of these and add sounds or change the sounds on existing ones, then with all of the sound-blocks combined make his personalized "instrument". Now any player can make sounds on the instrument by approaching or bumping into a sound-block. The way that the avatar makes sounds on the instrument can vary. At the end of the improvising session, the ‘composition’ will be saved on the instrument site, along with the personalized instrument. In this way, each user of the Amusement Center will leave behind him a unique instrumental creation, that others who visit the Center later will be able to play on and listen to. The fully creative experience of making a new instrument can be obtained connecting to Active Worlds world ‘Amuse’ and ‘Amuse2’.Animated colorful sounding objects can be assembled by the user in the Virtual Environment as a sort of sounding instrument. We refrain here deliberately from using the word musical instrument, because the level of control we have on the sound in terms of rythm and melody, among other parameters, is very limited. It resembles instead, very closely, to the primitive instruments used by humans in some civilizations or to the experience made by children making sound out of ordinary objects. The dimension of cooperation is of paramount importance in the process of building and using the virtual sounding instrument. The instrument can be built on ones own effort but preferably by a team of cooperating users. The cooperation has as an important corolary: the sharing of the experience. The shared experience finds its permanence in the collective memory of the sounding instruments built. The sounding instrument can be seen also as a virtual sculpture, indeed this sculpture is a multimedial one. The objects have properties that ranges from video animation to sound to virtual physical properties like solidity. The role of the user representation in the Virtual World, called avatar, is important because it conveys, among other things, the user’s emotions. It is worth pointing out that the Avatar has no emotions on its own but it simply expresses the emotions of the user behind it. In a way it could be considered a sort of actor performing the script that the user gives it in real-time while playing.The other important element of the integration is related to the memory of the experience left by the user into the Virtual World. The new layout is explored and experienced. The layout is a permanent editable memory. The generative aspects of Let's improvise together are the following.The multi-media virtual sculpture left behind any participating avatar is not the creation of a single author/artist. The outcome of the sinergic interaction of various authors is not deterministic, nor predictable. The authors can indeed use generative algorythm in order to create the texture to be used on the objects. Usually, in our experience, the visitors of the Amuse worlds use shareware programs in order to generate their texture. In most cases the shareware programs are simple fractals generators. In principle, it is possible to generate also the shape of the object in a generative way. Taking into account the usual audience of our world, we expected visitors to use very simple algorythm that could generate shapes as .rwx files. Indeed, noone has attempted to do so insofar. As far as the music is concerned, the availability of shareware programs that allow simple generation of sounds sequences has made possible, for some users, to generate sounds sequences to be put in our world. In conclusion, the Let's improvise section of the Amuse worlds could be open for experimentation on generative art as a very simple entry point platform. We will be very happy to help anybody that for educational purposes would try to use our platform in order to create and exhibit generative forms of art.
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