CFP International Conference New Horizons in VR, Berlin, 14/15 December 2017

New Horizons in VR: Advances in Immersive Media for the Benefit of People

International conference on the human aspects of immersive media,
Berlin, Germany, 14/15 December 2017

Date: 14./15. December 2017
Venue: Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Mitte

Jointly organized by:
•    ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association)
Section “Digital Games Research”
•    NCRC (NeuroCure Clinical Research Center) and CSB (Center for
Stroke Research Berlin)
Immersive media (IM) such as virtual and augmented/mixed reality
(V/A/MR) present new ways of experiencing and interacting with virtual,
real and hybrid environments. With consumer VR having arrived and
several major technology companies preparing AR/MR products and
services, there is growing interest in the human aspects linked with
these technologies.

While hopes are high for IM being a game changer, important questions
regarding its opportunities still remain unanswered: Can we learn faster
or deeper using IM? Can AR make the world one large interface and can MR
facilitate automated training scenarios in the real-world? Can IM
present new ways of communicating and meeting with remote friends? Can
it contribute to a better life, can it improve the condition of patients
within diagnostics, treatments and rehabilitation? Which are the social
and potential societal implications of this new type of telepresence? Is
VR gameplay truly more engaging?

But there are also challenges and risks connected to IM: How can we make
the hardware less cumbersome and reduce visual discomfort and motion
sickness? How can we improve quality of user experience, even with
hardware and network limitations? Which are the effects of repeated and
long-term use? Are there other health dangers involved related to
epilepsy or obesity or potential behavioral hazards such as problematic
use or aggression? Are there social hazards such as new forms of sexual
and other harassment? And more broadly: will IM improve or deteriorate
our quality of life: will it be utopia or black mirror?

The aim of this conference is to zoom in on the potential uses and
implications of the arrival of A/M/VR in the everyday life. Researchers
from a variety of disciplines interested in the human aspects of
immersive media technologies are welcome, including (but not limited to)
the fields of communication research, media studies, game studies,
sociology, psychology, education studies, human factors engineering,
economics, and health / medicine.

Potential topics of interest for A/M/VR in Perspective include, but are
not limited to:
●    Theoretical and empirical approaches to immersive media research
●    Immersive media experience (presence, engagement, identification…)
●    Forms of communication through immersive media
●    Interaction with(in) immersive media, effects of immersive media
●    Learning/training through immersive media
●    Application of VR/AR for improvement of well being
●    Health/medical application of VR/AR to extend diagnostics,
treatments and rehabilitation.
●    Improving patient satisfaction during hospitalization and quality
of life for patients with chronic diseases
●    Violent interactions, griefing, and sexual harassment in immersive
media, problematic use of immersive media
●    Design and implementation of Immersive media, including VR games
●    Methodology for studying immersive media

Submission process
Individual paper and panel proposals are welcome. Authors interested in
proposing a paper or panel for presentation at the conference are
invited to submit an extended abstract between 1000 – 1500 words in APA
6th style to the conference organization committee before or on 10
September 2017. The abstracts should make clear what the status of the
proposed work is, and that it will be ready for presentation at the
conference. Panel proposals should include a brief synopsis of the
general topic to be examined as well as an overview of the unique
contribution of each participant. By sending in a paper or panel, the
authors agree to personally present their research at the conference.

Notification of acceptance will be sent by 24 September 2017 at latest.
To submit, please e-mail a PDF version of your extended abstract with
title as an attachment to thorsten.quandt@uni-muenster.de. As abstracts
will be subject to a blind review process, all identifying author
information should be removed from the abstract prior to submission.
When submitting the abstract, please provide a separate cover page (in a
separate file) including the title of your extended abstract, along with
your name, title, department/organization, address, and e-mail information.

Student submissions
We are particularly interested in student panels that discuss
up-and-coming research within the area of digital game studies. PhD
students should flag their submissions as student papers if they wish to
be considered for a student panel (otherwise, they will be taking part
in the general paper competition). Student submissions will follow the
same rules as standard submissions, however, they will be part of a
separate paper competition.

Is there a participation fee? – Yes, there will be a moderate
participation fee which (will include coffee breaks), but we will try to
keep the prices as affordable as possible (i.e. below 100 Euros).
Will there be student prices? – There will be reduced prices for
students and researchers working on a part time (50 %) basis.
Will there be a conference publication? – Nothing is set in stone yet.
The ECREA section’s past conferences resulted in several publications
(multi.player and multi.player 2, both published by Routledge). However,
not all of the presentations were included, and some of the chapters in
the book were not part of the conference. The main goal is quality, so
we will only produce a book if there are enough excellent papers, and if
we can get the interest of a good publishing house.
What about accommodation and all these details? – The final program will
have all the details, including accommodation, a schedule, directions
etc. However, Berlin offers many options on all price levels, so you
should not worry about this too much.
What about networking? I heard something about a party? – There will be
socializing events where you can meet fellow researchers and have a
drink or two.
Will there be interesting keynote speakers? – That’s the plan.
Is there a preference for a certain paradigm? Will you accept
quantitative or qualitative research? And how about theory? – No
preference is given to a specific paradigm or approach, as long as it
fits the above call. Oh, and it has to be great.
Is the venue worth a visit, besides the conference? – Absolutely. It’s
Berlin. And the conference venue is very centrally located.


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