CfP: Special Session, Panel and Workshop on “Facilitating Spontaneous Humor” (@INTETAIN 2014)

Humor researchers, game designers, human-computer interaction researchers, interactive media researchers, comedy writers, and artists are invited to contribute to this event.

Held in conjunction with INTETAIN 2014, 6th International Conference on Intelligen Technologies for Interactive Entertainment, that will take place in Chicago, United States,

July 9–11, 2014. http://www.intetain.org/2014/show/home





• Generating humorous events and potentially humorous situations in environments equipped with sensors and actuators and inhibited by humans, virtual agents and/or social robots.

These environments include videogames, serious games, and ambient intelligence environments.

• Humor modelling in verbal and nonverbal human-human exchanges that can help to understand how to create humorous events and situations in virtual worlds, sensor-equipped worlds and videogames; obviously, we can learn from creating verbal and nonverbal humor in real world and comedy situations.

• Designing virtual and physical agents that verbally and nonverbally engage in humorous human-agent dialogues or agent-agent dialogues.

• Corpora collection of in-game and meta-game interactions; annotating of humorou interactions and machine learning for detecting humor in interactions, dialogue and text.



We invite submissions for a Special Session on Facilitating Spontaneous Humor during the main INTETAIN 2014 conference. Papers have to follow the general publication guidelines for INTETAIN 2014 papers: see http://www.intetain.org/2014/show/authors-kit . Accepted papers will appear in the INTETAIN 2014 Springer proceedings. Authors have to register for the conference in order to have their papers included in the proceedings. In addition to the Special Session we plan to have a one-day or one-afternoon pre-conference workshop and a panel during the workshop or the conference. Workshop papers (maximum length 4 pages) should also follow the INTETAIN author guidelines. All papers will be peer-reviewed. For submission information contact a.nijholt@utwente.nl .



February 20th 2014: Deadline for Session and Workshop papers

March 20th 2014: Acceptance notification

April 15th 2014: Camera-ready submission



Humor is important in our daily activities. Although we sometimes may tell jokes and listen to them, most of the humor we experience is in conversations, in behavioral activity and in actions and situations in general. And, unlike the joke telling and listening experience, in humor that appears spontaneously, we play an active role in letting this humor come into existence. We assess a situation and decide whether it contains the elements to construct a humorous remark and whether it is appropriate to generate such a remark. We assess a situation and we decide whether our behavior or a next activity should have a humorous effect or whether our behavior and activity should allow someone else to introduce a humorous act. This spontaneous humor depends on context, participants, and history of activities and interactions.

Today, sensor-equipped environments can be designed to sense and interpret human activity and interaction. Intelligent environments can interpret and support human-human interaction.

Intelligent environments can also be inhabited by social (virtual) agents and by social robots. These environments and their artificial inhabitants can play an active role in generating (potential) humorous situations and interactions. Actuators can make (unexpected and incongruous) changes to the environment. The environment can distribute knowledge about what is going on or can be done to its virtual and physical agents. They can then play a role in generating incongruous situations and interactions. Some autonomy can be embedded in these agents.

In contrast, when we look at humorous texts, a movie or a comedy, the humorous situations and interactions (dialogue) are constructed in advance. We, the readers, the audience members, don’t play an active role. Between the sensor-equipped physical environments and media such as texts, stage performances and movies we can position virtual and augmented reality worlds that simulate aspects of the real world, for example, for training situations (serious games), persuasive fitness exercises, interactive art applications, or applications that require us to interact in verbal and nonverbal ways in order to meet entertaining or educational challenges presented to us. These virtual and augmented worlds allow interaction, but the interaction is guided and controlled by the application. This is not different from what we encounter in videogames, although in the traditional videogames we only see mouse, keyboard and joystick interaction possibilities.

Humor appears in many popular videogames, whether it is in a game such as Grand Theft Auto (GTA) or Portal. Humor is available in dialogues between game characters, comments on a gamer’s Behavior and actions, incongruous characters, jokes and incongruous introductions in cut scenes, situations that challenge the gamer by employing non-Euclidean geometry or unusual physics (as we often see in cartoon movies) or humor is available in a meta-channel of a multi-user role playing game that allows gamers to employ textual or speech chat in order to discuss strategies, to negotiate or to comment. It will be interesting (and also the aim of this special session and workshop) to compare the possibility of designed humor in these game and virtual reality environments and the facilitation of humor creation in sensor-equipped physical environments, with existing and traditional ideas of humor creation in the physical world, in conversations, in texts, and in other media.

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