March 22-25, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Interactions: Description

Magic and Multimedia

Slavko Milekic, University of the Arts, USA
Giuliano Gaia, InvisibleStudio, Italy
Stefania Boiano, Nature Publishing Group, United Kingdom
Francesca Pasquali, Università degli Studi di Bergamo, Italy
Lawrence Reichlin, Zuckerman-Honickman, Inc., USA

"Magic, also called prestidigitation or conjuring, is the art of entertaining an audience by performing illusions that baffle and amaze, often by giving the impression that something impossible has been achieved, almost as if the performer had magic or supernatural powers". (

Magic is about creating amazement and curiosity, and about knowing how human perception works. Both aspects are equally important in creating effective educational multimedia. It is not surprising that during the nineteenth century the phenomena of electricity and magnetism were presented as magic by people who were an interesting intersection of magicians, scientists and educators. The success of magic depends upon the mental models people have formed about how the world functions. By analyzing these mental models, their underlying processes and 'how magic works,' we will try to understand how some features of effective magic could be transferred into successful educational multimedia.

Mini-Workshop: Magic [Issues]

Keywords: magic, educational multimedia, interface design, Web