The balance of attention: The challenges of creating locative cultural storytelling experiences

Authors: Millard, D.E., Packer, H., Howard, Y. and Hargood, C.

Journal: Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage

Volume: 13

Issue: 4

eISSN: 1556-4711

ISSN: 1556-4673

DOI: 10.1145/3404195

Abstract:

There is a long history of research exploring how augmented and mixed reality systems can be used to support visitors to cultural heritage locations, but the technological or application specific focus of much of this research means that our understanding of how these experiences work is more of a collection of insights, rather than a coherent theory about how the elements of the experience come together. There is a danger that without developing this knowledge further, our systems will be technologically complex, but experientially simplistic. In this article, we explore how one form of mixed reality experience, digital locative storytelling, can impact the experience of place, and in turn how place impacts the experience of story. We have analyzed 33 interviews, and 25 participant observations from 12 story deployments at 2 different sites. Our findings confirm that locative storytelling experiences not only impart information to readers, but also help them to rediscover familiar places and see hidden relationships—especially through time. But our findings also show how the success of the experience is reliant on the balance of attention between the virtual and real (the story and the place), and that issues with navigation, social interactions, and technology are problematic because they can disrupt this balance. Digital locative experiences therefore need to be designed carefully in order to create a balance of attention (e.g., by aligning the elements of the story with the topology and character of place). We call this a state of Loco-Narrative Harmony, in which place and story are working together and reader attention is balanced, creating an effect that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Source: Scopus

The Balance of Attention: Challenges of Creating Locative Cultural Storytelling Experiences

Authors: Millard, D.E., Packer, H., Howeard, Y. and Hargood, C.

Journal: ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage

Publisher: ACM

ISSN: 1556-4673

Abstract:

There is a long history of research exploring how augmented and mixed reality systems can be used to support visitors to cultural heritage locations, but the technological or application specific focus of much of this research means that our understanding of how these experiences work is more of a collection of insights, rather than a coherent theory about how the elements of the experience come together.

There is a danger that without developing this knowledge further, our systems will be technologically complex, but experientially simplistic.

In this paper we explore how one form of mixed reality experience, digital locative storytelling, can impact the experience of place, and in turn how place impacts the experience of story. We have analysed 33 interviews, and 25 participant observations from 12 story deployments at 2 different sites.

Our findings confirm that locative storytelling experiences not only impart information to readers, but also help them to rediscover familiar places and see hidden relationships - especially through time. But our findings also show how the success of the experience is reliant on the balance of attention between the virtual and real (the story and the place), and that issues with navigation, social interactions, and technology are problematic because they can disrupt this balance.

Digital locative experiences therefore need to be designed carefully in order to create a balance of attention (for example, by aligning the elements of the story with the topology and character of place). We call this a state of Loco-Narrative Harmony, in which place and story are working together and reader attention is balanced, creating an effect that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Source: Manual