ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: July 2018

Call: Game Studies Area: 2019 PCA/ACA National Conference

Call for Papers and Panels

Game Studies Area: 2019 PCA/ACA National Conference
April 17th through April 20th, 2019
Washington, DC

Submission deadline: October 1, 2018

The Game Studies area of the National Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association Conference invites proposals for papers and panels on games and game studies for the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference to be held April 17th through April 20th, 2019 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC.

The database for proposal submissions is now open.


The organizers seek proposals and papers covering all aspects of gaming, gaming culture and game studies.  Proposals can address any game medium (computer, social, console, tabletop, etc) and all theoretical and methodological approaches are welcome. Please see our facebook group at for our mission announcement.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • new game mediums and platforms
  • representation or performance of race, class, gender and sexuality in games
  • gaming culture, game specific cultures, and multicultural and cross-cultural issues
  • game development, design, authorship and other industry issues
  • game advertising, reviews, packaging, promotion, integrated marketing and other commercial concerns
  • political and legal entailments such as regulation, censorship, intellectual property
  • ludology, textual criticism, media ecology, narratology, etc as paradigms for games studies
  • player-generated content
  • game genres, platforms, consoles, console wars and connections to other media
  • serious games for education, business, healthcare, (military) training, etc
  • space and place in games, play spaces, virtual/physical communities, mobile gaming and localization
  • digital literacy, discourse practices, social norms and norming, the politics of play
  • public discourse/controversy over violence, militarism, sex, criminality, racism, etc in games
  • game pedagogy and classroom practices, gamification, learning as play

II. SUBMISSION PROCESS Read more on Call: Game Studies Area: 2019 PCA/ACA National Conference…

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I’m building a robot boyfriend – and you can, too

[This story from Quartz raises many important and (to me at least) fascinating issues regarding medium-as-social-actor presence. The original version includes more images and for more details see coverage in New Statesman and a plus. Mashable has a 3:07 minute video. –Matthew]

I’m building a robot boyfriend—and you can, too

Written by Fei Liu
April 24, 2018

Gabriel2052’s library of motor movements will know what I’m turned on by, his fingertips ghosting across the back of my neck with the right force-per-unit area. His motorized parts will know how to spread goosebumps across my skin, and his sensors will detect when my breath quickens in response. When we sleep, he will be a big spoon that will not sweat, take up too much space in the bed, or try to steal my pillows. His texting style will be quirky and offbeat—an amalgamation of all my exes’ message logs. When we are apart, his caresses will be embedded through haptics in my clothing so that I can still feel his touch close to my skin.

He is being made with open-source software and hardware, and his source code will be infinitely upgradable and distributable. I’m doing this so you too can one day build the love you deserve.

When I decided to build myself a robot boyfriend, I was caught in a series of brief, ill-defined, and painful relationships in New York and Germany. Growing up, I felt tricked by the movies I watched and the domestic bliss I witnessed among my friends, whose idyllic partnerships felt unattainable. My teenage unrequited love had turned into confused adulthood, and at times I found myself feeling ashamed of my wanting—and inability— to “find my other half.”

Creating Gabriel2052 is obviously technically challenging, but it’s ultimately a process within my control. He will become something—someone—I can form a lifelong bond with. Through bringing Gabriel2052 to life, I am investigating and confronting the ways in which technology and society create both harmful and uplifting narratives; the ones we’ve become complicit in during our search for love and understanding from others, and the world at large. Read more on I’m building a robot boyfriend – and you can, too…

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Job: Visiting Professor of Games at Marist College (NYC)

Job Opening Announcement

Want to… Teach games? Live in the NY Metro area? Teach at a top 40 games program?

I am looking for a Visiting Professor of Games to join me this upcoming year!

Read more on Job: Visiting Professor of Games at Marist College (NYC)…

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Watch Amazon’s VR kiosks transform the future of shopping

[Amazon’s new VR Kiosks in 10 malls in India are getting positive reviews, including in this short story from VentureBeat; see the original story for a second image and a 1:34 minute video, and see coverage in India Today for more details. –Matthew]

Read more on Watch Amazon’s VR kiosks transform the future of shopping…

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Call: 2nd Workshop on Augmented Reality for Intelligent Vehicles (with AutoUI 2018)


2nd Workshop on Augmented Reality for Intelligent Vehicles
colocated with AutoUI 2018 (
September 23, 2018
Toronto, Canada

Submission deadline: August 6, 2018

Augmented reality (AR) has the potential to improve road safety, support more immersive (non-) driving related activities, and finally enhance driving experience. AR may also be the enabling technology to help on the transition towards automated driving. However, augmented reality still faces a number of technical challenges when applied in vehicles, and also several human factors issues need to be solved. In this workshop, we will discuss potential and constraints as well as impact, role, and, adequacy of AR in driving applications. The primary goal of this workshop is to define a research agenda for the use of AR in intelligent vehicles within the next 3 to 5 years.

In this workshop, we will discuss and exchange ideas for solutions in the 4 problem fields (i) Computational issues, (ii) Perception issues, (iii) Physical issues, and (iv) Cognitive issues.

Goal 1: Discuss practical usage:

First, we aim to exchange ideas on the practical usage of AR devices in exploring augmented reality for vehicles. We invite experts to present their experiences with, and reflections on, using AR, and relate these experiences and reflections to use in or around vehicles. Specifically, we are interested in relating practical experiences to the next two goals of the workshop.

Goal 2: Identify challenges and hypotheses:

Second, we aim to outline a set of research challenges, for the coming 3 to 5 years, to provide reflections about these challenges, and to support these challenges with a set of hypotheses.

Goal 3: Chart research roadmap:

Finally, we aim to propose a roadmap to tackle the challenges and test some of the hypotheses. The final goal of this workshop is to provide an avenue for researchers exploring human-machine interaction in and around vehicles to exchange ideas related to the use of AR in their work, and to start charting a path towards productive collaboration in the field.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES AND INDICATION OF INTEREST Read more on Call: 2nd Workshop on Augmented Reality for Intelligent Vehicles (with AutoUI 2018)…

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How the brain gets confused when sight and sound conflict

[This story from JSTOR Daily describes how a recently published study expands our understanding of how the brain interprets, and can be led to misinterpret, the physical world. Aside from being interesting on their own, the story notes near the end how the conclusions have implications for the design of virtual environments. The original version of the story includes a different image; the press release mentioned is available from the Association for Psychological Science. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Association for Psychological Science]

How Ventriloquism Tricks the Brain

New research shows our brains place more weight on vision than hearing in identifying the source of a sound. But why?

Martha Henriques
July 11, 2018

Most of the time, the human brain works like a brilliant machine, seamlessly piecing together the disparate sensory impressions that bombard us from every angle during our waking hours. Our five main senses—sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste—take cues from our environment via specialized cells, sending a constant stream of signals to the brain. The brain usually does a good job of making sense of this cacophony, sometimes too good. When the brain comes across a “glitch” in the information it’s getting from its surroundings, it can work a bit too hard to make sense of it. This effort to make sense of unusual patterns leads to some peculiar illusions.

Ventriloquism, when we perceive sound coming from an object that is in fact silent, is one example. The classic example of this illusion is a performer on a stage with a puppet sitting on their knee. The performer talks while moving their lips as little as possible, while making much more visible movements with the puppet’s mouth. The result is that the inanimate puppet seems to be the one making the quips and jokes, not the ventriloquist.

The common misconception is that this trick involves the performer somehow “throwing” their voice through a clever trick of the voice box. In fact, it’s the brains of the audience members that perform this feat. Read more on How the brain gets confused when sight and sound conflict…

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Call: IS&NLG2018 – Workshop on Intelligent Interactive Systems and Language Generation


2IS&NLG2018 – Workshop on Intelligent Interactive Systems and Language Generation
Part of the 11th International Conference on Natural Language Generation (INLG2018)
November 5-8
Tilburg, The Netherlands

Paper deadline: August 31st, 2018

Language generation appears to be promising and to have a central role in a variety of intelligent interactive systems, as current research trends in conversational interaction and interfaces are demonstrating. In order to raise constructive discussion from an interdisciplinary perspective and define the research challenges to be addressed, the workshop 2IS&NLG seeks to gather researchers and practitioners working on language generation, human-computer interaction, conversational agents, and computational intelligence that deal with cross-cutting issues concerning language generation (NLG) and intelligent interactive systems (2IS).

We solicit contributions in the form of regular papers (up to 4 pages + 1 references in the ACL paper format) or demo papers (up to 2 pages) dealing with research topics in which either interaction or artificial intelligence is addressed jointly with language generation.

Submissions should be made through

TOPICS (include, but are not limited to)

  • Conversational Agents and interfaces: chatbots, virtual humans,. . .
  • Theory and research methods for user evaluation in NLG contexts
  • Measuring the effect of NLG in Intelligent Interactive Systems
  • Usability of eXplainable AI/interfaces
  • Multimodal interfaces in/for NLG systems
  • NLG for Games (e.g. generation of textual game assets, character dialogue, scenario generation)
  • User modeling, user context, personalization, and adaptive language generation
  • Argument mining, visualization and generation
  • Other novel interactive applications of automatic language generation: creativity, persuasion, e-learning, . . . .


We are honoured to host an invited talk by Sander Wubben, assistant professor at Tilburg University and co-founder of, who is committed to bring smarter interactive chatbots as a form of conversational AI. Read more on Call: IS&NLG2018 – Workshop on Intelligent Interactive Systems and Language Generation…

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Don’t Panic: Pitt hopes VR can help people train for an overdose emergency

[Can virtual reality and presence help prepare members of the public to treat someone in an overdose emergency? WESA-FM, Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station, reports on a collaborative effort led by the University of Pittsburgh; a 2:44 minute video of the simulation is available on YouTube and more simulations are on WyzLink’s YouTube channel. For comparison, see Ohio University’s April 2018 coverage of an acted out and video recorded simulation; the story includes a link at the end to videos and detailed information. –Matthew]

[Image: Screenshot from “Opioid Rescue” a virtual reality simulation that teaches people to administer naloxone during an overdose emergency. Credit: Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation, Education, and Research.]

Don’t Panic: Pitt Hopes Virtual Reality Can Help People Train For An Overdose Emergency

By Sarah Boden
July 10, 2018

The virtual reality simulation “Opioid Rescue” opens with an unconscious man lying on a basement floor next to an empty syringe.

“The first thing I’m going to do is try to talk to him and see if he’s conscious,” said Grace Mueller, an intern at the University of Pittsburgh’s Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation, Education, and Research, also known as WISER.

“Are you OK? Wake up!” a female voice asked the unconscious man.

“It seems like he’s not responding so I’m going to try and shake his shoulders,” she said.

Disembodied hands touch the avatar’s shoulders.

Next Mueller calls 911, and then pushes the button that delivers naloxone, the life-saving medication that can revive someone from an opioid overdose. A nasal spray pump floats down to the avatar’s nose.

“Opioid Rescue” was created by WISER researchers and WyzLink, a Seattle-based VR firm. The aim is to teach people to act quickly and not panic during an overdose. Read more on Don’t Panic: Pitt hopes VR can help people train for an overdose emergency…

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Call: IEEE VR 2019: 26th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces

Call for Papers

IEEE VR 2019: The 26th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces
March 18-22, 2019, Osaka, Japan

IEEE VR 2019 seeks original, high-quality Conference Papers in all areas related to virtual reality (VR), including augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and 3D user interfaces (3DUIs).

Important Dates:

  • November 22, 2018: Paper abstracts due (REQUIRED)
  • November 29, 2018: Paper submissions due
  • February 5, 2019: Notification of results
  • February 19, 2019: Camera-ready material due

Each research paper should be a validated contribution covering one or more of four styles of papers methodological, technology, applications, or systems. Papers are welcome that provide contributions in more than one of these areas. Authors should select a primary designation for submissions:

  • Methodological papers should describe advances in theories and methods of AR/VR/MR and 3DUI, such as ethical issues, theories on presence, or human factors.
  • Technology papers should describe advancements in algorithms or devices critical to AR/VR/MR and 3DUI development such as input, display, user interaction, or tracking.
  • Application papers provide an important insight to the community by explaining how the authors built upon existing ideas and applied them to solve an interesting problem in a novel way. Each paper should include an evaluation of the success of the use of AR/VR/MR and 3DUI in the given application domain.
  • System papers should indicate how the developers integrated techniques and technologies to produce an effective system, and convey any lessons learned in the process

Each paper should include an evaluation of its contributions appropriate to its type (e.g., user study, case study, expert user feedback, system comparisons, technical benchmarking). Read more on Call: IEEE VR 2019: 26th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces…

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How extended reality is changing cardiology

[A new paper reviews the varied uses of presence-evoking technologies in cardiology; this story from Healthcare Analytics News provides a summary and links to the (free) article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). For related stories see the ISPR Presence News posts “Virtual reality reveals the human heart in three dimensions“ and “Tufts Medical Center to use VR to let patients preview experience.” –Matthew]

[Image: Mixed reality cardiac electrophysiology workflow graphic from Silva et al. article]

How Extended Reality Is Changing Cardiology

C. Gourarie
July 09, 2018

Doctors can now manipulate holographic hearts and see our anatomy in 3D, and it’s only the beginning of a wave of similar high-tech tools to come.

As the technology behind virtual and augmented reality progresses, in both hardware and software, the possibilities for application in cardiology continue to expand. These technologies are already used in medical education and training, and they will soon be ready for live use during medical procedures, according to a new report published in JACC: Basic to Translational Science.

The paper explores the existing tools and applications of extended reality technology in cardiology, outlining some of the challenges to its adoption and more advanced applications.

“We’ve come to this point in the evolution of these technologies, where they now can cross over from being a tool that we just use to see things, to a tool we can use to interact or relate with things,” says Jennifer N.A. Silva, MD, a pediatric cardiologist and the paper’s lead author. Read more on How extended reality is changing cardiology…

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