Orchestrating a mixed reality performance

B. Koleva, I. Taylor, S. Benford, M. Fraser, C. Greenhalgh, H. Schnädelbach, D. Vom Lehn, C. Heath, J. Row-Farr, M. Adams

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

60 Citations (SciVal)


A study of a professional touring mixed reality performance called Desert Rain yields insights into how performers orchestrate players' engagement in an interactive experience. Six players at a time journey through an extended physical and virtual set. Each sees a virtual world projected onto a screen made from a fine water spray. This acts as a traversable interface, supporting the illusion that performers physically pass between real and virtual worlds. Live and video-based observations of Desert Rain, coupled with interviews with players and the production team, have revealed how the performers create conditions for the willing suspension of disbelief, and how they monitor and intervene in the player's experience without breaking their engagement. This involves carefully timed performances and "off-face" and "virtual" interventions. In turn, these are supported by the ability to monitor players' physical and virtual activity through asymmetric interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
EventConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI 2001 Anyone. Anywhere - Seattle, WA, USA United States
Duration: 31 Mar 20015 Apr 2001


ConferenceConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI 2001 Anyone. Anywhere
Country/TerritoryUSA United States
CitySeattle, WA


  • Mixed reality
  • Performance
  • Traversable interfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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