During week seventh we have read an essay of Pierre Levy, where he offers a problematic approach to the concept of interactivity. He also schematizes the different types of interactivity according to the temporal dimension of the mode of interactive communication and the hierarchical relationship between the communicators.
Shown below a summary of his article.
The term “Interactivity” generally refers to the active participation of the beneficiary of an information transaction but an information receiver could also be ever passive.
Television for example provides only entertainment, meanwhile telephone supplies dialogue, reciprocity, and real communication. Even a classic video game is more interactive than television because the video game reacts to the player’s actions, if we talk about a networked game, that gives the opportunity to let two adversaries play against each other, the similarity between video game and telephone are even more. The massage is a doubled image incorporating the situation and the player: one player transmits to his partner a image of himself that immediately affected the other player.
On the other hand if we analyse a telephone call we know that the message that one speaker send to the other help him to construct an image of his interlocutor and about the situation and the same happen on the contrary. However the information transmitted during the phone call are more limited then in a virtual reality game. The communication through a virtual word in one sense is more interactive than the telephone one because in addition to the message the other person received also the images of the person and the situation. On the other hand the telephone is more interactive because we are put more in touch with the voice of the speaker.
He makes a list of many different criteria that can be used to analyse interactivity:
1) The ability to appropriate and personalize the received message, regardless of the nature of the message
2) Reciprocity of the communication
3) Virtuality, here understood in term of the processing of the message in real time based on a model and input data.
4) The incorporation of the image of the participants in the message