avatars, audiences and interactive television

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This presentation for PCA 2013 examines how virtual world television producers who utilize the online world Second Life have constructed their virtual spaces to become places of interactive television with programming that exemplifies access, social and content interactivities. The analysis considers how the producers and their shows’ viewers are both users of the virtual world, but are able to become something more when using the virtual world as a technology to supplant traditional television technology by providing for truly interactive television experiences.


  • 1. Avatars, Audiences and Interactive Television:Television productions in Second Life exemplifying the possibilities of interactive television CarrieLynn D. Reinhard Dominican University Pooky Amsterdam PookyMedia
  • 2. Interactive Television (iTV) History of iTV o Winky Dink and You (1953) o Technologies to increase interactivity Developed for TV sets Appropriated for TV broadcasting Intentions o Empower to control TV use o Impact delivery platform or content Best matched with Internet o Inherent interactivity = best fit
  • 3. Three Types of Interactivity Content control Access interactivity Synchronous Content sharing Social interactivity Asynchronous Content editing Content interactivity
  • 4. Virtual World Television Virtual World Television (VWTV) o Multiple users coordinating synchronously o Multi-part fictional, non-fictional o Live streamed or post-production Importance of project o Second Life users become television producers o Producing iTV, to various degrees simultaneously: Access interactivity Social interactivity Content interactivity
  • 5. VWTV Project Projects participants o 54 television series produced in-world o Interviewed 23 producers of 39 series Projects interviews focused on: o Entering Second Life and creating their series o Ideas series design and audiences role o What challenged by and learned about o How helped and hindered during production o How see VWTV relate to traditional TV o How see VWTVs future
  • 6. Three Types of Programming1. Live studio audience encouraged to participate2. Live studio audience not encouraged to participate 3. No live studio audience
  • 7. Access Interactivity Networks serve as collective agencies Exhibition in-world and online o Specialized in-world add-ons o In-world exhibition areas o Online video sharing platforms o Specialized website hosting Recording & viewing options o Live but recorded for archival o Recorded, post-production, for archival
  • 8. Social Interactivity Text channels for synchronous communication o Chatbridges: Constructive cacophony o Encourage audience discussion during production
  • 9. Content Interactivity Chatbridge communication o Content progression: suggestions impact content De facto crew members o Glitch checking o Performance as participation
  • 10. Discussion Remediates access and social interactivities of traditional TV o Timeshifting o Social TV Remediates TV formats promoting content interactivity o AudienceParticipant o Lucky Viewer responsiveness True content interactivity in ability to enter production process o UserProducer o AudienceCrew
  • 11. Conclusion Virtual world: social medium, user-generated o Television channel: access interactivity o Virtual living room: social interactivity o Television studio: content interactivity Virtual World Technology Access Social Interactivity Interactivity Content Interactivity
  • 12. Thank You For Listening Visit www.playingwithresearch.com for more information.