Three Types of Multimedia Interactions — and Beyond

  • Peer Mylov


To understand the impact of these interactive multimedia it is first necessary to get an overview of their structure and characteristics. Interactivity is an invitation to engage in interactions, but these interactions will take place in some medium. In the following we shall present three such media based on their anchoring in the psychological constitution of the individual. They mediate interactions based on bodily actions, images and symbols. As the media may contain different sorts of units and their arrangement, this will lead us to some considerations concerning syntactic properties. Four types of syntax will be sufficient to catch the significant differences in the ordering of the content of multimedia. This also leads to a division or dichotomy in the medium for images. In return we will treat the medium for actions (interactions) as a special dimension. Interactivity as a feature of our environment means a certain measure of freedom on behalf of the user, and this might create problems in relation to the intended paths through the multimedia presentation. We shall comment on the question of narrative coherence and embark upon a further analysis of the medium for images and symbols (language) respectively, showing that they really are two autonomous substrata even if the symbolic medium may dominate. In connection with the question of syntax it will be demonstrated that interactions come in two different forms. By considering modern computer-based artworks it is possible to add a third form. After this we have three media, four types of syntax and three forms of interaction.


Virtual Reality Virtual Environment Syntactic Category Objective World Interactive Multimedia 
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© Springer-Verlag London 2001

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  • Peer Mylov

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