ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Call: DiGRA 2015 – Digital Games Research Association Conference

Call for papers

DiGRA 2015
Diversity of play: Games – Cultures – Identities
14-17 May 2015, Lüneburg, Germany

Video game culture has had a self-image of being a distinct cultural form united by participants identifying themselves as ‘gamers’ for many years. Variations in this identity have been perceived either in relation to preferred platform or level of commitment and skill (newbie, casual, core, pro, etc.). Today the popularity of games has increased dramatically, games have become more specialized and gaming is taking place in a number of divergent practices, from e-sport to gamification. In addition, the gamer position includes a number of roles and identities such as: players, learners, time-fillers, users, fans, roleplayers, theory crafters, speed runners, etc. Furthermore, techniques like gamification and game-based learning, as well as the playful use of computer simulation for training purposes, is making it difficult to distinguish games from non-games.

Additionally, video game culture is merging with other forms of popular culture and new mobile technologies are making distinctions between digital and non-digital gaming blurred. Yet, whilst the forms of play seem to have become more diverse, the content of games is often only challenged by independent titles. This is the case despite a maturing audience, some of whom now seem to urge for more diverse themes and representations within games. In the light of increasing criticism of the representations and practices that have dominated much of games culture, it seems that the relationship between the identity of the ‘gamer’ and the content of games is undergoing a change.

Traditionally, game studies has tried to find common ground, seeking shared definitions and epistemologies. DiGRA 2015 seeks to encourage questions about the ‘Diversity of play’, with a focus on the multiple different forms, practices and identities labeled as games and/or game culture. The conference aims to address the challenge of studying and documenting games, gaming and gamers, in a time when these categories are becoming so general and/or contested, that they might risk losing all meaning. Given this, what concepts do we need to develop in order for our research to be cumulative and how do we give justice to the diverse forms of play found in different games and game cultures? Read more on Call: DiGRA 2015 – Digital Games Research Association Conference…

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5 roadblocks to VR becoming mainstream

[From Mashable, where the story includes two more images; be sure to see the last paragraph]

The author wearing the Oculus Rift

5 Roadblocks to Virtual Reality Becoming Mainstream

Chelsea Stark
September 30, 2014

For more than 25 years, one iteration or the next of virtual reality has been touted as a life-altering technological breakthrough. At the first Oculus Rift developers conference, attendees saw how far its creators have come in pursuit of an outstanding virtual reality platform.

But virtual reality still has a long way to go before it’s ready for consumers, and its biggest proponents know it, too. During Oculus Connect, the company’s top brass talked about the issues virtual reality still struggles with, and how they might be solvable. While there could potentially be solutions for each problem, they won’t be tackled overnight.

From the technical limitations of providing a truly realistic experience to software developers understanding best practices for making an immersive game or app, there are some struggles that the movement’s collective brainpower still need to tackle. Read more on 5 roadblocks to VR becoming mainstream…

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Job: Tenure track position in Computer Games and Virtual Worlds at Concordia U., Montreal


Concordia University

The Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science (ENCS) at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, invites applications for a tenure-track strategic hire position in the area of Computer Games and Virtual Worlds for appointment in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE). The CSE department has an active research group in 3D Graphics in addition to a highly popular Computer Games degree option at the undergraduate level. The goal of the strategic hire program is to augment existing research capacity in the department through high profile interdisciplinary research in collaboration with members of Concordia’s Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre (TAG). The successful candidate will receive an attractive research support and teaching package. For additional information about ENCS, CSE and TAG see, and Read more on Job: Tenure track position in Computer Games and Virtual Worlds at Concordia U., Montreal…

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Inception Glasses bend city streets and buildings around you

[From Digital Trends, where the story includes more images and a 0:31 minute video]

Inception Glasses graphic

Sony’s creating ‘Inception Glasses’ that will bend city streets and buildings around you

By Jeremy Kaplan – September 24, 2014

Here’s one way to make the mountain come to Mohammed.

In the 2010 Christopher Nolan film Inception, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page create impossible dream environments by folding whole city blocks in upon themselves. It’s remarkable to see – so remarkable that Sony Computer Science Lab researcher Yuichiro Takeuchi decided to make the science fiction conceit into a reality.

On Monday he unveiled the technology, running at present on a tablet but with plans to release a wearable version that runs in glasses. Takeuchi showed a video in which the giant arch in New York City’s Washington Square Park shimmied and rippled in the breeze like a belly dancer. He followed up with a video showing various buildings growing and collapsing like Shrinky-Dinks.

The connection to the film is no coincidence: Takeuchi calls his idea “Inception Glasses,” and he’s got plans to solve real-world problems with them. Read more on Inception Glasses bend city streets and buildings around you…

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Call: Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) 2015 Tech Retreat

Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) 2015 Tech Retreat
February 9-13, 2015
Hyatt Regency, Indian Wells
Palm Springs, California

Call for Proposals

From Mark Schubin:

Labor Day is over, so it’s that time of year again: time to think about proposing presentations for the 2015 HPA Tech Retreat, February 9-13 at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells (Palm Springs, California area). Many say it’s the most-important event of the year.


For those of you not familiar with the retreat, HPA is the Hollywood Post Alliance, but the retreat is not restricted to Hollywood (past retreats have had presenters from Bombay to Buenos Aires and from New Zealand to Norway) or to post production (past presentations have covered such diverse topics as projector output, visual perception, viewer behavior, loudness control, camera technology, content control, and military surveillance), and it predates HPA. There’s an overview here.


There are four main areas in which people can participate in the retreat beyond simply attending. This call is for proposed presentations in the main program and for breakfast-roundtable topics and moderators. For sponsorship possibilities, please contact the project manager Eileen Kramer ( Sponsorship has no effect on acceptance into the main program.

ANYTHING related to moving-image technology and related audio may be proposed. For both the main program and the breakfast roundtables, the only requirement is a technology orientation. For the main program, marketing is also prohibited. Possibilities include (but are not limited to) archiving, bit-rate reduction, conditional access, distributed performance, enhanced imaging, film-grain emulation, glass-fiber improvements, higher dynamic range, image evaluation, JPEG2000, Kell’s factor, live-event cinema, making money multimedially, new technology, optical storage, practical robotics, quantum entanglement for distribution, rights management, super-high resolution, translation, ultra-high frame rate, vertical scanning, wavefield reconstruction in sound and vision, X-ray illumination, young audience attraction, and zoom limits. Is UHDTV good or bad? The cloud? LED lighting? Mobile devices? Proposed presentations can cover history, development, implementation, application, standardization, future possibilities, or anything else applicable to the technology. Read more on Call: Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) 2015 Tech Retreat…

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Inverse presence after using Oculus: “I accidentally tricked myself into thinking reality was fake”

[An account of an inverse presence experience from The Verge]

Author using the Oculus Rift

I tricked my brain into thinking real life was VR

Welcome to the desert of the unreal

By Adi Robertson
on September 22, 2014

If you talk to anybody who’s into virtual reality for more than ten minutes, you will probably end up speculating about when we might achieve total immersion: the point at which a simulated experience becomes functionally indistinguishable from real life. Most people will submit that we’re not near that point yet, barring a nightmare scenario that Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey posited at the company’s conference this weekend — imagine “you’re in a room that has no movement, no sound except for yourself breathing, and no scent… and you’re in a straitjacket. Potentially you could experience that situation quite closely.” But a couple of hours after that speech, I discovered that it’s possible to get the opposite feeling: I accidentally tricked myself into thinking reality was fake. Read more on Inverse presence after using Oculus: “I accidentally tricked myself into thinking reality was fake”…

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Job: Creative Producer & Research Assistant on Project Daedalus at U. of Salford, Manchester

[For more information about Project Daedalus, see]

Creative Producer & Research Assistant: Project Daedalus
University of Salford, Manchester
School of Environment and Life Sciences

Fixed Term: 12 months (November 2014 to October 2015)
Part time
Closing date: 13 Oct 2014

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced academic researcher and creative producer to join Project Daedalus, a new, Nesta project led by Abandon Normal Devices (AND), Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF), and the University of Salford (UoS). Project Daedalus aims to liberate geographic constraints on artistic experiences and live events, using quadrotor technology (flying drones), combined with custom-made applications, to test new ways of engaging audiences remotely with content in real-time. Project Daedalus will test the limits of non-linear storytelling by creating interactive environments, which allow audiences to engage remotely by creating and sharing content in real-time. Read more on Job: Creative Producer & Research Assistant on Project Daedalus at U. of Salford, Manchester…

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Telepresence after death: Yourbot to enable future generations to interact with you

[From Geektime; see the Kickstarter site for much more information including videos]

Yourbot: Memories are immortal

Yourbot lets you talk to your future generations

Yourbot is your digital replica in the cloud and a foundation to preserve it for years to come. Your lineage will be able to chat with you in the year 2114 and beyond

Amit Peri | On September 17, 2014

Imagine you could have a chat with your grandest of great great grandchildren today, what would you wish to tell them?

Yourbot is an Android device with speech-to-text conversation engines which allows our future generations the ability to interact with and understand their ancestors of today. Through both a mobile and web app and a series of optional daily questions, Yourbot builds and stores the large and robust digital user personas for generations to come. Read more on Telepresence after death: Yourbot to enable future generations to interact with you…

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Call: Science and Information (SAI) Conference 2015

Call for Papers

IEEE Technically Co-Sponsored
Science and Information (SAI) Conference 2015
28th to 30th July 2015
London, United Kingdom

About the Conference

Science and Information (SAI) Conference is a premier venue for researchers and industry practitioners to share their new ideas, original research results and practical development experiences from Computer Science, Electronics and Communication related areas.

Science and Information Conference 2015 features specialized keynote talks, contributed papers, special sessions, poster presentations, workshops, and tutorials on theory and practice. Its drive is to convene a high quality, well-attended, and up-to-date conference on technology and research.

Science and Information Conference 2015 will be held at London, U.K from July 28-30, 2015. It is hosted by The Science and Information Organization, and is being organized with sponsorship and support from IEEE and Springer.

Technically Sponsored by IEEE Computer Chapter UKRI. Read more on Call: Science and Information (SAI) Conference 2015…

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Newspaper debuts VR reporting with trip to a desolate farm

[From Businessweek, where the story includes more images]

Gannett's virtual farm

[Image: As you walk around the farm, floating graphics add context. Courtesy Gannett Digital]

A Newspaper’s First Trip Into Virtual Reality Goes to a Desolate Farm

By Joshua Brustein September 22, 2014

Against the odds, the Des Moines Register has just become one of the first newspapers to move into virtual reality.

Gannett (GCI), publisher of USA Today and dozens of regional publications, has released its debut report made specifically for the Oculus VR headset: an interactive view of a farm in Iowa designed to accompany a series of newspaper articles being published by the Register this week. It’s the very start of what will likely be a wave of journalistic experiments with virtual reality in the next few years, and this project shows that there’s still some thinking to be done about what news organizations should be trying to accomplish in the medium. Read more on Newspaper debuts VR reporting with trip to a desolate farm…

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