Metazoa Ludens


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Although animals and pets are so important for families and society, in modern urban lifestyles we can spend little time with our animal friends. Interactive media should be aimed to enhance not only human to human communication, but also human to animal communication. Thus, we promote a new type of inter-species media interaction which allows human users to interact and play with their small pet friends (in this case hamsters) remotely via the Internet through a mixed reality based game system “Metazoa Ludens”. We scientifically examined the effectiveness of this system in a two pronged approach. Firstly, and most importantly the positive effects to the hamsters are ensured using Body Condition Score study. Secondly, the method of Duncan was used to assess the strength of preference of the hamsters towards Metazoa Ludens. Lastly, the effectiveness of this remote interaction with respect to the human users as a interactive gaming system with their pets/friends (hamster) was examined based on Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow theory. Results of both studies inform of positive remote interaction between human user and their pet friends using our research system. This research is not aimed just at providing specific experimental results on the implemented research system, but is aimed as a wider lesson for human to animal interactive media. Thus also the lessons learned are extrapolated and detailed in this project as a framework in general for human to animal interaction systems.


Video (last updated 14/03/07, right-click and download file)

Exhibition History

Accepted for publication in Workshop for Edutainment 2006, Hangzhou, China
Accepted for Sketches, SIGGRAPH 2006, Boston, USA
Accepted for publication in Lecture Notes of Computer Science 2007
Accepted for DEMO in Wired NextFest 2007, LA, USA

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Technical Document
Charith Fernando, a member of the Metazoa Ludens project has published a technical documentation. Click here to view the documentation.


Adrian David Cheok, Roger Thomas Tan, Newton Fernardo, Roshan Peiris, Janaka Prasad, Janyn Sen Yin Ping, Vladimir Todorovic

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