– Imagine making “Avatar: the Last Airbender” into a VR game by faithfully writing the fantasy martial-arts of air, fire, water, and earth bending into software. Then, track the user’s body so that they can bend the elements virtually to play games –
The Rules of Language
Languages are built from a set of “rules” for people to learn and follow. Those rules ensure that the language is understood universally by everyone who uses it. Most languages have rules to help communicate ideas concretely, but some prioritize abstract or artistic communication. In music theory, for example, you might study how a major chord sounds “happy” or a minor chord sounds “sad”, and how to put notes together to control the feeling of a song you’re writing.
There are also rules for languages of movement, instead of sound. Sign language, body language, dancing, and martial arts, for example, all have rules that people intentionally or unintentionally learn in order to better express themselves literally or artistically. Flow Artists use movement to communicate artistically by wielding sports-equipment-like instruments called “Skill Toys” or “Props”, and use them to play patterns of movement into the air as a visual form of music.
Using Gestural Language in XR
Prop Logic uses rules from the languages used by flow artists to translate abstract expressive movement with various objects into a game controller for eSports and artistic software. The interface listens to patterns in the movement of the prop, in real time, and extracts aesthetic intent and meaning from them.
Specific types of prop movement or “dialects” are useful for different applications in XR, and our studio works as a matchmaker to pair those dialects with virtual activities for maximum fun. A common dialect used by flow artists, for example, is heavily inspired by martial arts, and PropLogic can tailor its gesture recognition algorithms to listen for martial-arts-like prop movements to drive fantasy combat.
As an analogy for fans of the show: Imagine making “Avatar: the Last Airbender” into a VR game by faithfully writing the fantasy martial-arts of air, fire, water, and earth bending into software. Then, track the user’s body so that they can bend the elements virtually to play games. We’re essentially doing this with the tricks that people do when they play with props and skill toys so that they can control imaginary physics in virtual environments. These imaginary physics can be used to play eSports, to produce visual art, and myriad other activities.