Chapter 10

Literary Feelings in Interactive Fiction 1

10.1. Introduction: emotions and feelings

The spectacular development of emotional interfaces since the publication of Picard’s Affective Computing [PIC 97], has taken place from a largely communicational perspective. In most cases, this allows the machine to recognize (or in the case of synthetic actors even generate) basic or universal emotions that had originally been described within the framework of interpersonal communication. Behind the idea that considering emotions makes interaction more natural, acceptable or even more efficient, is the almost ethological conception of communication, not too distant from the kind of cognitivism reductionism that received so much support 1980s (see [RAS 91] for an overview). The most obvious indication of this is the desire to find a limited ontology of basic emotions that are universal. Ekman’s primitive emotions have fulfilled this role well, although their limitations are also beginning to be recognized. As applications have become more complex and have involved richer semantic context (which might also be termed cultural), wanting to characterize interactions in terms of sadness, fear or disgust inevitably becomes flawed. The emotions evoked by a film, animation or video game are significantly more complex and not necessarily always well defined. The psychology of entertainment [BRY 06] has attempted to describe and analyze this.

Such issues raise the ongoing debate between the ...

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