Title: A tabletop interactive storytelling system: designing for social interaction

Authors: Thijs Alofs; Mariët Theune; Ivo Swartjes

Addresses: Human Media Interaction, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands ' Human Media Interaction, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands ' Ranj Serious Games, Lloydstraat 21m, 3024 EA Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract: This paper presents the Interactive Storyteller, a multi-user interface for AI-based interactive storytelling, where stories emerge from the interaction of human players with intelligent characters in a simulated story world. To support face-to-face contact and social interaction, we position users around a shared multi-touch table, which very much resembles the social setting of traditional tabletop board games. To our knowledge, the Interactive Storyteller is the first AI-based interactive storytelling system that combines an emergent narrative approach with the social aspects of traditional tabletop board games. We carried out user experiments to investigate to what extent our system supports social interaction. By analysing the interactions of pairs of children with the Interactive Storyteller, we determined which system aspects triggered cooperation and highly social behaviour and which aspects caused players to behave less socially. We also tried to find out whether the use of tangible playing pieces offered any advantages over touch-only interaction, but we did not find any differences between the two.

Keywords: interactive storytelling; multi-touch tables; tabletop storytelling system; tangible playing pieces; board games; interface design; social interaction; user evaluation; children; emergent narrative; multi-user interface; artificial intelligence; AI; simulation; intelligent characters; cooperation; social behaviour; interactive stories.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2015.071206

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2015 Vol.8 No.3, pp.188 - 211

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 17 Aug 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article