MIT Technology Licensing Office
Chimeria is a novel technology that enables the creation of more nuanced user identities in games, social media and related digital media forms. Its numerous applications in the gaming and media industries include: being used to determine dialogue and options in a computer game based upon the dynamic identity categories of characters in games to improve narrative depth, offering automatic customization of avatars based on their identities as determined by user actions in a game or preferences on social media, and providing recommendation of real/virtual products to gamers and social media users based upon the dynamic identities of their characters and/or profiles.
Computational modeling of social categories can be found in a wide range of digital media works. In computer role-playing games, racial categorization is often used to visually style a player’s avatar or trigger different canned reactions when conversing with a non-player character. In social media, users can categorize groups based on shared taste or group their acquaintances as “friends,” “family members,” etc. However, in most such systems, category membership is determined in a top-down fashion, with no possibility for hybrid identities, identities that exist at the margins of the groups, or identities that change over time. These deficiencies prevent achieving the nuance of social category membership in the real world. Chimera presents an approach in which a model of social categories can drive customized experiences in games and in social media.