The Child Behind the Character

Isabel Machado and Ana Paiva

This paper presents our research approach for guidance and control of a story character by young children. With this approach we argue that it is possible for a child to be at the same time an actor performing a role in the story and a engaged and empathic spectator of the overall story. To illustrate the approach we will describe Teatrix a collaborative virtual environment for story creation by young children. In Teatrix children control the actions of their story characters in order to perform a certain chosen role (ex. a villain or an hero). Following a theatrical metaphor, Teatrix allows children to set up new stories and act them out in a game like manner.

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