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Crossing the line: a field study of inhabited television

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This paper reports on an ethnographic field study of 'Out Of This World' (OOTW, Benford et al. 1999) an experiment in 'inhabited television' combining broadcast technologies with a collaborative virtual environment in a live show. The study focuses on the work of producing OOTW and how personnel managed the manifold contingencies of working with complex technology. The use of a specially developed virtual camera control application is discussed together with the methods the director used for live editing views from cameras into a 'broadcast from virtual reality'. The challenges faced by the multiple professions involved (TV personnel, research scientists, actors) are documented and the viability of inhabited TV as a 'new medium' is assessed. Future technological refinements are briefly discussed along with some general implications for CSCW and 'media studies' of the work reported.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2001

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