UCT CS Research Document Archive

Virtual San storytelling for children: Content vs. experience

Ladeira, Ilda and Edwin Blake (2004) Virtual San storytelling for children: Content vs. experience. In Chrysanthou, Yiorgos, Kevin Cain, Neil Silberman and Franco Niccolucci, Eds. Proceedings VAST2004: The 5th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, pages 223-231.

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This paper describes the development of a Virtual Environment (VE) for telling a traditional San story. The San are an indigenous hunter-gatherer people of southern Africa whose traditional lifestyle has become almost extinct. We present a study which gauges the effectiveness of a San storytelling VE with high-school students. We defined an effective cultural storytelling experience as one in which the story is understood and enjoyed. We explored the possibility of fostering an interest in the story’s cultural context. We drew from a number of disciplines in this paper: archeology, film and VE authoring for the creation of our VE; educational theory and psychology research principles in our experimental methodology. In our study we evaluated the effectiveness of a storytelling VE in comparison to reading a story as text.We considered comprehension of the story, the amount of subsequent interest shown in the San culture and the level of enjoyment, boredom and confusion. We found that comprehension of the story was significantly higher for the text group than for the Virtual Reality (VR) group (F(1)=23.54; p<0.0001). We found that interest in the San and desire to find out more about the San was significantly higher for the VR group (F(1)=5.639; p<0.02). Also enjoyment was significantly higher for those who experienced the story in the VE (F(1)=17.67; p<0.001). Boredom (F(1)=7.44; p<0.009) and confusion (F(1)=15.54; p<0.001) in the story were significantly higher for the text group. We conclude that there is a trade-off between conveying the story content and providing the kind of experience that is fun and generates an interest in the story’s cultural cont

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:Virtual Environmen, Cultural Heritage
ID Code:420
Deposited By:Blake, Edwin H
Deposited On:24 September 2007
Alternative Locations:http://www.eg.org/EG/DL/WS/VAST/VAST04