ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Job: Tenure-track Digital Media, Learning and Games position at Concordia University, Montreal

Strategic Hire in Digital Media, Learning and Games

Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, invites applications for a tenure-track strategic hire position in the area of Digital Media, Learning and Games. Depending on the selected candidate’s profile, the appointment will be made either in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences or in the Faculty of Fine Arts. The goal of the strategic hire program is to augment existing research capacity at Concordia through the development of high profile interdisciplinary research clusters. The successful candidate will receive an attractive research support and teaching package.

Working with members of Concordia’s Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre (TAG), the strategic hire in Digital Media, Learning and Games will build on Concordia’s leadership in the growing field of game studies and design to enhance our understanding of the cultural and learning potential of digital games, develop new research partnerships and applications, and innovate programs and curriculum.… read more. “Job: Tenure-track Digital Media, Learning and Games position at Concordia University, Montreal”

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Second Life founder Rosedale quietly creating next-gen virtual world

[From Singularity Hub]

High Fidelity graphic

Second Life Founder, Philip Rosedale, Is Quietly Creating a Next-Generation Virtual World

Written By: Jason Dorrier
Posted: 11/12/13

In Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, humanity escapes a gritty dystopia by donning VR goggles and entering a virtual world called OASIS. Back here in a comparatively rosy 2013, we don’t have a fully immersive virtual experience—yet.

But virtual reality is undergoing a renaissance. And while Oculus develops a consumer-ready virtual reality headset, Second Life creator, Philip Rosedale, and his latest startup, High Fidelity, are hard at work constructing a next-generation global virtual world.… read more. “Second Life founder Rosedale quietly creating next-gen virtual world”

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Call: 6th Global Conference: Videogame Cultures and the Future of Interactive Entertainment

6th Global Conference

Videogame Cultures and the Future of Interactive Entertainment
Thursday 17th July – Saturday 19th July 2014
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for Presentations:

This inter- and multi-disciplinary conference aims to examine, explore and critically engage with the issues and implications created by the mass use of computers and videogames for human entertainment and focus on the impact of innovative videogame titles and interfaces for human communication and ludic culture. In particular the conference will encourage equally theoretical and practical debates which surround the cultural contexts within which videogames flourish.

Proposals, presentations, workshops and reports are invited on any of the following themes:

1. Videogames and Gaming

Theories and Concepts of Gaming. Identifying Key Features and Issues. Videogames as Text. Videogames as Interactive Media. Space of Videogames. Multidisciplinary Approaches to Videogame Analysis. Gamification.

2. Videogame Cultures

Trends and Emerging Practices in Online and Offline Gaming.… read more. “Call: 6th Global Conference: Videogame Cultures and the Future of Interactive Entertainment”

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An Oculus Rift sex simulator

[From BuzzFeed; a 1:56 minute promotional video (NSFW) is available on MediaFire; apologies for the self-promotion but for more on this topic see the journal Human Technology]

Oculus Rift sex simulator

It Finally Happened: There Is An Oculus Rift Sex Simulator

Welcome to 2013. NSFW video inside.

Over the weekend, in Tokyo, the group VR Japan hosted an Oculus Rift Game Jam.

These events, which are common in countries where developers have access to early versions of the headworn virtual reality display, are occasions for creative thinking about ways to apply the Oculus to generate immersive new gaming experiences.

In that spirit, someone at the Tokyo Oculus Jam created a Rube-Goldberg-like Oculus-enabled sexual contraption. The device attaches a Novint Falcon—a grip-based, haptic controller—to a Tenga, a Japanese industrial masturbator. Used as intended, the user would insert his penis into the Tenga, which would be manipulated by the Falcon.… read more. “An Oculus Rift sex simulator”

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Call: Social Robots: Form, Content, Critique – Special issue of International Journal of Social Robotics

Call for Papers:
Social Robots: Form, Content, Critique
Special issue of The International Journal of Social Robotics

Co-editors:
Michaela Pfadenhauer (Karlsruhe University / Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
Satomi Sugiyama (Franklin College, Switzerland)
Charles Ess (University of Oslo)

We invite papers from scholars and researchers across the disciplines (including philosophy, robot ethics, Artificial Intelligence, cognitive science, media/sociology, information science, art history) that examine and explore social robots through three distinct but inextricably interwoven frameworks:

  • Form/appearance (e.g., human/animal likeness in appearance; everyday media forms and robotic functions; cultural attitudes toward robot forms, etc.)
  • Content/AI/applications (e.g., implications of artificial intelligence in everyday human experiences such as memories, relationships, and conceptions of the self and self-understanding; applications that shape human-robot interactions; applications of mobile media and their implications in human’s robotic experiences, etc.)
  • Critical issues that undergird the above, including; ethics, intimacy, emotions, authenticity, etc.
read more. “Call: Social Robots: Form, Content, Critique – Special issue of International Journal of Social Robotics”
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Artist Danny Quirk uses latex body paint to bring anatomical structures to life

[From The Scientist, which features a linked a photo gallery that can be found here; for more of Danny Quirk’s art find him on MEDinART, Behance and Facebook]

Danny Quirk art showing woman's shoulder anatomyer

Dissection via Paintbrush

An artist uses latex body paint to bring anatomical structures to life

By Tracy Vence | October 31, 2013

Getting to know the complex anatomical structures that make up the human body can be both fascinating and frightening. The thought of examining cadavers at close range is enough to send some potential anatomists running. Even for the non-squeamish, few outside of the medical profession can access this all-important learning tool. So Massachusetts-based artist Danny Quirk devised a way to bring human anatomy to life—by painting the bodies of live models with intricate illustrations of their musculoskeletal structures and vasculature, among other things.… read more. “Artist Danny Quirk uses latex body paint to bring anatomical structures to life”

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Call: Merging Media: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Study of Hybrid Arts

Merging Media: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Study of Hybrid Arts

Call for Papers

Saturday 1st February 2014
University of Kent, Canterbury

Although we naturally recognise different artistic media as distinct forms – music, painting, sculpture, film, dance, theatre, architecture, animation, and so on – we also understand that these mediums can nevertheless have a meaningful dialogue in the creation of new artworks. Over the course of art history there have been numerous occasions when different media forms have merged or been juxtaposed for artistic purposes. These intermedial examples have seen word and image intertwined on the page in the illuminated books of William Blake; experimentation with the partnership between painting and music in Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition; performance and music mixed in Variations by John Cage; the deconstruction of paintings through digital visual manipulation in Peter Greenaway’s lectures; and the recent National Theatre Live and Royal Opera House theatrical performances being broadcast onto cinema screens.… read more. “Call: Merging Media: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Study of Hybrid Arts”

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I swapped my world for a virtual one – and I loved what I found

[A first-person account of presence and its aftermath, from the Guardian]

The Oculus Rift

I swapped my world for a virtual one – and I loved what I found

Oculus Rift is a brilliant piece of kit that has huge potential for the future of gaming and education

Lucy Prebble
The Observer, Saturday 9 November 2013

We were supposed to have virtual reality by now. We knew from fiction what it would look like, the wrongs it would bring.

For ages we seemed on the edge of a self-imposed Matrix or as much creepy, blobby lovemaking as we wanted, as in The Lawnmower Man.

But for a host of technical and practical reasons, little of merit has materialised until the recent announcement of Oculus Rift, a headset financed by the crowd-funding website, Kickstarter. The headset’s existence has been made possible in an online virtual world by a now solvent generation promised it by their movie virtual worlds 20 years ago.… read more. “I swapped my world for a virtual one – and I loved what I found”

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Call: Unnatural Futures Conference

Call for Papers: Unnatural Futures Conference

Dates: 3 & 4 July, 2014
Venue: Centre for the Arts University of Tasmania, Hobart

From genetically modified foods to zombie apocalypse, concerns about the future are increasingly reflected in contemporary media, policy and culture. An “unnatural future” is being shaped by rapidly escalating anxieties about the social, cultural, environmental and technological risks that now pervade everyday life. This climate of fear and uncertainty about the future requires careful consideration around how best to respond and intervene in debates, discussion and media representations around our “unnatural future”.

This conference brings together researchers from a range of academic disciplines, including those from the social sciences, humanities, and agricultural and environmental studies, to address the following questions: how do we imagine the future? What are the methodologies or theories that may help navigate these potential futures? The intention is to share and explore views of the possible natural and unnatural futures that loom large on the horizon.… read more. “Call: Unnatural Futures Conference”

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Sign-spinning mannequins cause double-takes, bring in customers

[From NPR, where the story features an audio version too]

A mannequin sign-spinner

[Image: “Sandy,” a sign-waving mannequin, helps bring in customers to a Los Angeles smoke shop.]

There’s A New Kind Of Sign Spinner In Town

by Alex Schmidt
October 16, 2013

Want to get cash for gold, buy furniture, find a tanning salon or rent an apartment? You could look those things up online, but in many cities if you just drive around, you probably won’t have to go far before you see a person spinning a giant sign that will point you in the right direction.

Or maybe you’ve just seen so many sign spinners that they don’t even catch your eye anymore.

Meet the sign-spinning mannequin. She’s freakishly tall, and her head is turned way back, Exorcist style. She can’t possibly be human. After you get over the weirdness, you might have a reaction like Virgil Ribancos did.… read more. “Sign-spinning mannequins cause double-takes, bring in customers”

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