Using perspective in narrative learning environments
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Using Perspective in Narrative Learning Environments. Ana Vaz and Ana Paiva INESC-ID. Summary. Motivation question Approach followed Victec and the FearNot! demonstrator Perspective Filter Implementation in FearNot! Future work. Motivation Question.

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Using Perspective in Narrative Learning Environments

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Using perspective in narrative learning environments

Using Perspective in Narrative Learning Environments

Ana Vaz and Ana Paiva




  • Motivation question

  • Approach followed

  • Victec and the FearNot! demonstrator

  • Perspective Filter

  • Implementation in FearNot!

  • Future work


Motivation question

Motivation Question

How can we influence the emotional reactions of users of a virtual storytelling environment through the use of “perspective”?


Perspective in narrative

Perspective in Narrative


Narrative level – represents the events that occur in a story;

Changing the perspective implies altering the events and therefore the story.

Narration level – how the story is presented.

Different perspectives of the same story can be provided through the presentation.


Approach followed

Approach Followed

  • Introduce “perspective” without changing the actions of the characters (i.e., influencing the narration level);

  • Exaggeration. Leads to more impact, which leads to different perceptions of the same events.


Victec and the bullying problem

Victec and the Bullying Problem


Goal: the prevention of bullying behaviour.


  • Virtual Learning Environment;

  • Simulate bullying situations;

  • Induce empathic relations between the child and the characters.





  • Demonstrator of the ideas proposed by Victec;

  • Software program aimed at children from 8 to 12;

  • Interactive environment with intelligent autonomous agents;

  • Emergent narrative is a consequence of characters’ behaviour (which is generated using an emotional model);

  • Episodic narrative.


Perspective filter

Perspective Filter

  • Allows the generation of perspective in a narrative environment;

  • Filters the visualisation of the story as it unfolds, which means it can be used with emergent narratives;

  • Main concepts:

    • Perspective types;

    • Character roles and personality traits;

    • Perspective parameters.


Perspective filter cont

Perspective Filter (cont.)

  • Determines the focalizor [Bal85, Branigan92];

  • Receives an instruction to an action and looks at:

    • who performs it;

    • what his relationship with the focalizor is;

    • his personality traits (to see what is expected from him).

  • Returns the appropriate perspective parameters.


Perspective types

Perspective Types

Self-perspective – the focalizor emphasises his own actions.

Friendly perspective – the focalizor enhances positive/neutral actions of his ‘friends’.

Unfriendly perspective - the focalizor enhances negative actions of his ‘enemies’.


Character roles and personality traits

Character Roles and Personality Traits

  • Characters are identified with their functional roles;

  • Each role is defined by a pattern in the 5 personality traits (Aggression, Hot-temper, Self-esteem, Shyness and Anxiety);

  • Relationships between the roles are established, either friendly or unfriendly. Eg.: bully and victim → unfriendly

    bully and assistant → friendly


Perspective parameters

Perspective Parameters

Camera Information: shot, angle, target.


  • to give more or less detail;

  • to change the level of impact on the participant.

    Action Intensity: shapes the perception of intentionality. (E.g., we can see slight push or a violent one.)


Implementing in fearnot

Implementing in FearNot!

  • The agents’ control module communicates with the world module;

  • The Perspective Filter ‘sees’ the changes that will affect the world and generates the appropriate parameters, that he send to the world module.


Personality traits of victec characters

Personality Traits of Victec Characters


Relation between personality traits and actions in victec

Relation between Personality Traits and Actions in Victec

Negative (or non-prestigious) Actions:

  • Cry – Anxiety, Self-esteem;

  • Mock – Aggression, Shyness;

  • Punch – Aggression, Hot-temper;

  • Push – Aggression, Hot-temper.

  • Slap – Aggression, Hot-temper;

  • Swipe – Aggression, Anxiety;

    Neutral Actions:

  • Walk – Self-esteem, Shyness;

  • Pick – Aggression.


Example in fearnot

Example in FearNot!

Walk with high confidence

Walk with low confidence


Without the perspective filter

Without the Perspective Filter


The perspective of the victim

The Perspective of the Victim


The perspective of the bully

The Perspective of the Bully


Future work

Future Work

  • Improve the camera module,

  • Influence speech,

  • Evaluate the Perspective Filter;

  • Include new parameters, such as sound.


Some references

Some References

[Bal85] M. Bal. Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative. University of Toronto Press Inc., 1985.

[Branigan92] E. Branigan. Narrative Comprehension and Film. Routledge, 1992.

[Dias05] J. Dias. Fearnot!: Creating emotional autonomous synthetic characters for empathic interactions. Master’s thesis, Instituto Superior Técnico, March 2005.

[Paiva04] A. Paiva, J. Dias, D. Sobral, R. Aylett, P. Sobreperez, S. Woods, C. Zoll, and L. Hall. Caring for agents and agents that care: Building empathic relations with synthetic agents. In Proceedings of the Third International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents & Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS 2004). ACM Press, July 2004.


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