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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Call: 3rd Workshop on Games and NLP (GAMNLP-14)

Call For Papers

The 3rd Workshop on Games and NLP (GAMNLP-14)

http://sites.google.com/site/gamnlp14/

to be held at the Tenth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE-14).

OBJECTIVE:

This workshop aims at promoting and exploring the possibilities for research and practical applications involving Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Games. The main objective is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to discuss and share ideas regarding how the NLP research community can contribute to games research and vice versa. For example, games could benefit from NLP’s sophisticated human language technologies in designing natural and engaging dialogues to bring novel game experiences, or in processing texts to conduct formal game studies. Conversely, NLP could benefit from games in obtaining language resources (e.g., construction of a thesaurus through a crowdsourcing game), or in learning the linguistic characteristics of game users as compared to those of other domains. The workshop welcomes the participation of both academics and industry practitioners interested in the use of NLP in games or vice versa.

TOPICS OF INTERESTS: Read more on Call: 3rd Workshop on Games and NLP (GAMNLP-14)…

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First U.S. 4D theaters open in Los Angeles

[From The Wrap, where the story includes other pictures. For more on the two 4D theaters that opened this weekend see The Hollywood Reporter and a 2:52 minute video new report from WEAR-TV]

4-D Experience Theater

4D Theaters Buck, Jerk, Spray and Hurtle Their Way Into America

Bring a towel and witness what may be the future of film

By Brent Lang on April 13, 2014

It bucks, it mists, it hurtles. It smells.

No this is not an amusement park ride and yes, the smells part is accurate. It’s 4D, the latest effort by cinema owners to offer something on the big screen that moviegoers can’t find on their tablets, mobile devices or gaming consoles.

4D enabled theaters have become popular attractions in Latin America, South Korea, China, Mexico and other foreign markets and they’ve begun to crop up stateside in recent years. A 4D enabled theater is scheduled to open at Regal Cinemas’ L.A. Live location this summer and another one is tentatively planned to debut in Oxnard, Calif. at roughly the same time, planting hopes for cinema’s future right near the heart of the movie business. Read more on First U.S. 4D theaters open in Los Angeles…

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Call: The 21st Multimedia Modelling Conference (MMM 2015)

The 21st Multimedia Modelling Conference (MMM 2015)
Jan 5-7, 2015, Sydney, Australia

http://www.mmm2015.org/

MMM 2015 is a leading international conference for researchers and industry practitioners for sharing new ideas, original research results and practical development experiences from all MMM related areas. The conference calls for research papers reporting original research and investigation results as well as demonstrations in all areas related to multimedia modelling technologies and applications. The conference also calls for proposals of special sessions.

The conference proceedings will be published as series of Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) by Springer. There will be best submission awards. Authors of selected papers will be invited to publish extended versions in special issues of various leading/major international journals.

TOPICS OF INTEREST

The topics of interest for MMM 2015 include, but are not limited to: Read more on Call: The 21st Multimedia Modelling Conference (MMM 2015)…

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Google’s incredibly clever cardboard VR headset

[From TechCrunch, where the story includes more images and a 2:52 minute video; see also the follow-up stories, How To Make Your Own #Cardboard VR Goggles, Buy A Google #Cardboard Clone For $20, and The Story Behind Google’s Cardboard Project]

Google cardboard VR headset

Hands On With Google’s Incredibly Clever Cardboard Virtual Reality Headset

Posted June 25, 2014 by Greg Kumparak

Each year at I/O, Google gives all of the developers in the audience a gift. Some years it’s a tablet. Some years it’s a laptop.

This year? It was a piece of cardboard. Yeah, yeah, they gave attendees some other stuff, too — but that cardboard!

Once you tear the seal on Google’s lil’ slab of cardboard, it becomes clear that this is no mere corrugated fiberboard. This is something more!

If you can bust out the skills you picked up at the University of Ikea and work your way through the not-so-intuitive folding process, you end up with something wonderful. Paired with your Android phone, that origami’d cardboard transforms into a cheap, on-the-fly virtual reality headset. Read more on Google’s incredibly clever cardboard VR headset…

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Call: Game Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice at Southwest Popular/American Culture Association conference

Call for Papers: Game Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice Area
36th Annual Southwest Popular / American Culture Association Conference

February 11-14, 2015
Hyatt Regency Hotel and Conference Center
Albuquerque, NM

http://www.southwestpca.org

The Game Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice Area welcomes papers, panels, and other proposals on games (digital and otherwise) and their study and development. The Area is also offering a three hour workshop titled “Empathy Game Design: A Quick Introduction” on the first day of the conference.

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION

Possible topics include (but are in no way limited to):

  • Advertising (both in-game and out)
  • Alternative reality games
  • Archiving and artifactual preservation
  • Competitive/clan gaming
  • Design and development
  • Economic and industrial histories and studies
  • Educational games and their pedagogies
  • Foreign language games and culture
  • Game art/game-based art (including game sound)
  • Haptics and interface studies
  • Histories of games
  • Localization
  • Machinima
  • MOGs, MMOGs, and other forms of online/networked gaming
  • Performance
  • Pornographic games
  • Religion and games
  • Representations of race and gender
  • Representations of space and place
  • The rhetoric of games and game systems
  • Serious games
  • Strategy games
  • Table-top games and gaming
  • Technological, aesthetic, economic, and ideological convergence
  • Theories of play
  • Wireless and mobile gaming

For paper proposals: Please submit a 250 word abstract and brief biographical sketch to the conference event management site:  http://conference2014.southwestpca.org/. Make sure to select the Game Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice topic area. The submission deadline is 11/1/2014.

For panel and other proposals: Feel free to query the Area Chair first (Judd Ruggill, Arizona State University, jruggill@asu.edu). Panel and other proposals should also be submitted to the conference event management site and include the information requested for individual paper proposals (each on a separate submission form), as well as a 100-word statement of the panel’s raison d’etre and any noteworthy organizational features.

As always, proposals are welcome from any and all scholars (including graduate students, independent scholars, and tenured, tenure-track, and emeritus faculty) and practitioners (developers, artists, archivists, and so forth). Also, unusual formats, technologies, and the like are encouraged. Read more on Call: Game Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice at Southwest Popular/American Culture Association conference…

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“Tell Me Dave”: Program your robot by casually talking to it

[From Phys.org, where the story includes a different picture and two videos. More information is available on the “Tell Me Dave” web site]

Tell Me Dave graphic

Robot can be programmed by casually talking to it (w/ Video)

Jun 23, 2014

Robots are getting smarter, but they still need step-by-step instructions for tasks they haven’t performed before. Before you can tell your household robot “Make me a bowl of ramen noodles,” you’ll have to teach it how to do that. Since we’re not all computer programmers, we’d prefer to give those instructions in English, just as we’d lay out a task for a child.

But human language can be ambiguous, and some instructors forget to mention important details. Suppose you told your household robot how to prepare ramen noodles, but forgot to mention heating the water or tell it where the stove is.

In his Robot Learning Lab, Ashutosh Saxena, assistant professor of computer science at Cornell University, is teaching robots to understand instructions in natural language from various speakers, account for missing information, and adapt to the environment at hand. Read more on “Tell Me Dave”: Program your robot by casually talking to it…

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Call: Human Work Interaction Design for Pervasive and Smart Workplaces – NordiCHI’14 workshop

Call For Papers
Human Work Interaction Design for Pervasive and Smart Workplaces
http://sites.google.com/site/hwid2014

At NordiCHI’14 (Helsinki, Finland; October 26-30)
http://nordichi2014.org/

Pervasive and smart technologies have pushed workplace configuration beyond linear logic and physical boundaries. As a result, workers¹ experience of and access to technology is increasingly pervasive, and their agency constantly reconfigured. While this in certain areas of work is not new (e.g., technology mediation and decision support in air traffic control), more recent developments in other domains such as healthcare (e.g., Augmented Reality in Computer Aided Surgery) have raised challenging issues for HCI researchers and practitioners. The question now is: how to improve the quality of workers¹ experience and outputs?

This workshop focuses on answering this question to support professionals, academia, national labs, and industry engaged in human work analysis and interaction design for the workplace. Conversely, tools, procedures, and professional competences for designing human-centered technologies for pervasive and smart workplaces will be discussed.

Objectives: Read more on Call: Human Work Interaction Design for Pervasive and Smart Workplaces – NordiCHI’14 workshop…

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eleVR: The first web video player for virtual reality

[From CNET, where the story includes a different image and a 1:25 minute video]

Vi Hart of eleVR

[Image: Vi Hart]

eleVR: the first web video player for virtual reality

Why should gaming get all the fun? eleVR is like YouTube for your virtual reality headset — and anyone can jump in and create videos.

by Michelle Starr
June 24, 2014

You may be able to control a quadcopter with an Oculus Rift — but what about just kicking back and watching some videos from your favourite creators? That’s what the newly launched eleVR is for.

The website, a collaborative effort between ‘mathemusician’ Vi Hart, software developer and mathematical artist Andrea Hawksley, and vlogger, artist and media producer Emily Eifler, offers the first open source web video player compatible with the Oculus Rift, with all videos produced by the team available for download and all code available on github so that anyone can implement their own ideas.

“VR hardware will get better, and better, and suddenly I looked at the limited little rectangle of my videos and saw something soon to be archaic, an arbitrary shape chosen by technological convenience rather than anything fundamentally meaningful to the human experience, and I saw VR as the platform for video, for social media, for the entire internet,” Hart wrote on her blog. Read more on eleVR: The first web video player for virtual reality…

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Call: Help with facial expression detection study

Dear virtual agent enthusiast,

Automatic facial expression detection is becoming increasingly robust and accurate. We envision the reproduction of a user’s facial expressions, captured with a webcam, on the user’s avatar in a computer game. Currently, we are conducting a series of studies to investigate the feasibility of this scenario. In particular, we are interested in the factors that affect the perceived quality of the facial animations.

Read more on Call: Help with facial expression detection study…

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“Breathing Wall” installation explores environment as extension of our body

[From Fast Company’s Co.Exist, where the story includes more pictures and a 2:33 minute video; see also Behnaz Farahi’s web pages for this version and the earlier version of the project]

Woman in Breathing Wall 2.0 installation‘s

When You Move Your Hand, This Room Changes Shape

By covering walls in Spandex and using a motion sensing game controller, a designer has created a magical place that is an extension of the human mind and body.

Adele Peters
June 23, 2014

We’re used to using gestures like swiping and tapping to control smartphone apps. But could we use the same movements to change the physical world around us? In a project called Breathing Wall, University of Southern California student Behnaz Farahi experiments with what it might look like if walls in a room changed shape whenever we moved our hands.

“I am exploring what the future of our living environment could look like,” Farahi says. “What is the quality of the interaction we would have with our surrounding environment? How would it look to live within an environment that is part of an extension of our body?” Read more on “Breathing Wall” installation explores environment as extension of our body…

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