Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it... that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.
Virtual puppeteering is the process by which an interactor directly controls a digital avatar or virtual character within a virtual or mixed reality environment. Often infrared motion capture devices or new off-the-shelf gaming hardware is used to track the person’s movements. That tracking information is then translated by the computer software into control commands for the digital avatar or virtual character.
When performed by a trained interactor, it's like a gifted musician playing an instrument. The result is greater than the sum of its parts, and extremely lifelike and compelling characters come to life. Users regularly report feeling swept away by the realism of the characters, even though the images may be of a fantasy nature. It's the strength of the interactor behind the avatar that makes the difference.
See virtual puppeteering in action on DRAMA-RAMA, the game that prepares adolescents to battle peer pressure.
LIVE PERFORMANCE TRAINING
When the stakes are high in terms of money or consequences, and nothing but the human experience will do, it's time to bring in an interactor. From corporate sales, management or negotiation training, to inter-cultural awareness and communications, to exposure therapies for Post-Traumatic Stress, an interactor provides the ready-to-use analog for the real thing. Like a top-performing athlete who trains through repetition at a high level, your trainees can practice the interpersonal skills with ISS at a high-performance level with the chance to repeat until they master it.
The process is simple. Clients list the kinds of skills they wish to train, and provide basic information on the scenario(s). ISS then builds custom interactive solutions to train those skills. The process is designed to work in person or over the web, saving time and money. Be it learning how to cope with the stress of a high-pressure encounter like interrogation, practicing extremely emotional interactions such as a physician delivering tragic news, conducting a critical hiring interview that could mean millions of dollars, or even the day-to-day management of teams of people and those "crucial conversations", ISS provides the training and proving ground for your people.
Rapid prototyping is an instructional design technique that focuses on building and testing prototypes or mockups of the final product so that improvements can be made after each round of testing before committing to a final design or product. ISS can reduce the cost and resources used in prototyping human simulation software by providing interactors that can simulate your software program at the design phase before it is coded, or by simulating user behavior.
Having ISS interactors available will allow you to test the design of the human interactions in your simulation software or game and make adjustments before the programming phase begins. This early testing has the potential to save you time and resources compared to programming the interactions and having to make large changes after testing.