This is part 3 of a 5-part blog post in which we spotlight 5 teams from an IMVU-sponsored project at ArtCenter College of Design. As summarized in this post, the question was posed to a group of cross-disciplinary art students, what would foster friendship and connection on the IMVU platform. Students were encouraged to explore the platform, learn to create rooms and content, and explore what type of “recipe” could be created that would influence connection between users and ultimately friendship.
Labyrinth team is: Anna, Ivan, and Robert
The Labyrinth team proposes that engagement and friendship can be achieved through a model of collaborative exploration. Space can influence conversation when users of similar interest can connect. They proposed that by creating an explorative journey that revolves around the visitors’ interests, community can be fostered by the journey itself. A labyrinth is a familiar and easy to interpret model that can manifest both elements to experience and decision-making that can route like-minded interests together.
We think a labyrinth consisting of no clear dividers (walls). The user navigates through the space using nodes and hints from other objects. Deities exist in the space to either aid the user in their quest to reach their destination, the communal space, or to hinder their progress. They may also transport the user to hidden communal spaces where they can develop further insight on how to progress in their journey.
The Labyrinth can be a model for navigating through a space and encountering people with common interests.
Dear Visitors: The labyrinth creates an experience filled with discovery and frustration as you attempt to navigate the maze through the help of friendly deities (or mischevious). As you navigate your way you’ll recieve clues from different types of singage that are related to your interests from the IMVU community. Depending on your connection to the signage, you’ll choose your path until you’ve reach your destination- a room with other users that have also chosen the same paths (essentially like-minded people), allowing you to either interact or at least see who you have been grouped with by the labyrinth. However the path is not easy! Friendly and mischevious deities exist in the labyrinth to either offer aid or hinder your path. Worry not! The labyrinth has countless opportunites for the perfect photo-op even at the most hair-ripping dead-ends. The wall-less labyrinth allows you to see where your peers are and are free to ask for help! (if you can get it or not) We wish you the best of luck and hope this labyrinth will allow you to connect with new friends and create a journey of interest and self-dis-covery! Have fun and remember
All Paths Lead to Community.
Proposal: Using a labyrinth model, along with symbols and objects that users experience, decisions they make will ultimately bring like-minded users to common-interest rooms where they can connect easier.
Within the chat room design, the team explored several areas of engagement:
- “Monolithic” symbols and “deities”
- Textures based on different tastes
- Interactive objects (nodes that trigger visible notes)
- Revealing more of the maze in some places
Sketch of the original Labyrinth model
Part of the group’s presentation included 3D printed versions of one of the community discussion rooms (inside the Labyrinth)