One path to training for cross-cultural competency is through immersion in a target culture, but real immersion can be expensive. Virtual immersion may be a viable alternative, but only if the experience is realistic and compelling enough. The characters in the virtual environment must embody the behaviors of the people in that culture in a way that is realistic and believable to facilitate training. In this paper, we describe a theory-based framework for building interactive cultural characters for cross-cultural training. The framework combines physical and cognitive aspects of behavior to enable more realistic generation of cultural behavior. We describe the theoretical basis for the framework, how it is being used to build interactive characters for cross-cultural training, and reflect on the challenges we have faced and lessons we have learned in doing this work.
Taylor, G., and Sims, E. (2009) “Developing Believable Interactive Cultural Characters for Cross-Cultural Training.” In Proceedings of HCI International 2009. AAAI Press. San Diego, CA.