Title: Player collaboration in the explorative sound environment ToneInk

Authors: Anne-Marie S. Hansen; Hans Jørgen Andersen; Pirkko L. Raudaskoski

Addresses: Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University Copenhagen, AC Meyers Vænge 15, DK-2450 Copenhagen SV, Denmark ' Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University, Rendsburggade 14, DK-9000 Aalborg, Denmark ' Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Rendsburggade 14, DK-9000 Aalborg, Denmark

Abstract: In the present paper, ToneInk, a prototype of a music-based play scenario that investigates player collaboration, is introduced. ToneInk is an explorative sound environment that differs from the majority of music-based games in that players can collaborate and be creative in the way they express themselves through melody and rhythm. The paper provides player interaction and navigation results and demonstrates how various affordances in the ToneInk design iterations make it hard or possible for players to engage with the system and with each other. From observations it was clear that players lost mutual awareness, and in general were more passive when they needed to monitor a screen interface that supported the sound environment. Player collaboration was strongest when players negotiated rhythm, while the negotiation of melody was temporally offset and consisted of long individual explorations.

Keywords: music-based games; user collaboration; electronic music interfaces; interaction studies; aesthetic expression; music improvisation; explorative sound environments; player collaboration; ToneInk; navigation; design iterations; mutual awareness; rhythm; melody.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2016.077237

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2016 Vol.9 No.2, pp.145 - 161

Accepted: 18 Sep 2014
Published online: 25 Jun 2016 *

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