Conversation Starters: Using Spatial Context to Initiate Dialogue in First Person Perspective Games

David B. Christian, Mark O. Riedl, and R. Michael Young

A first-person perspective role-playing game by its very nature attempts to create a sense of presence by fostering a deep connection between a user and her avatar. However, the current communication interfaces found within such environments endanger this connection by both forcing the player to consider the interface instead of the game and removing control over the character’s behavior from the player. In this paper, we first describe an algorithm which allows users to initiate dialogue with artificial agents in a manner that more closely mirrors normal human interaction. We then describe techniques to increase the realism of the behavior of agents while in the presence of a conversation initiation.

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