ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: October 2015

Job: Tenure-track faculty position in Digital Games and Interactive Media at University of California, Irvine

Job Opportunity: University of California, Irvine Tenure-Track Faculty Position in Digital Games and Interactive Media

The Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine is seeking exceptional candidates for a tenure-track position in digital games and interactive media. We recognize the importance of digital games and interactive media to society and the economy, and wish to complement our existing areas of excellence with a strong presence in these emerging areas.

The department is strongly interdisciplinary, with faculty backgrounds in anthropology, computer science, engineering, humanities, media arts, organizational studies, and psychology. This, in no small measure, contributes to our strong international reputation as an innovative site for research and education on information technology and its applications. We wish to add a similarly interdisciplinary perspective on digital games and interactive media, their role in society, and new possibilities for innovative design.

Our search is intentionally broad. We appreciate work of all varieties, whether empirical, technological, methodological, or analytical in nature. Game technologies, games studies, games and learning, AI for games, games for health, procedural content generation, games and digital media, augmented and/or mixed reality gaming, virtual worlds, game design, and critical game-making are all examples of topics well within the scope of the search. Read more on Job: Tenure-track faculty position in Digital Games and Interactive Media at University of California, Irvine…

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9/11 Oculus Rift simulator raises ethical issues

[Our increasing ability to produce compelling presence experiences raises important ethical issues; this story from Gothamist includes different images and the two videos mentioned. –Matthew]

[08:46] 9/11 simulation screenshot (looking down from Tower)

[Image: Fusion]

Videos: There’s An Oculus Rift 9/11 Simulator For Everyone Who Wants To Relive September 11th

by Ben Yakas on Oct 29, 2015

There have been a lot—and we do mean A LOT—of cringeworthy, ill-considered tributes to September 11th that have made us stop in our tracks. From the 8-bit videos to the UES boutique sales (and those were just this year), it’s generally a bad idea to try to tie in your product with one of the worst days in American history. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for actual educational and/or artistic expressions about the attack—but even so, there’s no way in hell you could convince us to strap into an Oculus Rift 9/11 simulator.

The narrative-driven virtual reality project is called “[08:46]”, after the time when the first plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center. The simulator, created by a group of French university students, “makes you embody an office worker in the North Tower of the World Trade Center during the 9/11 events.” It was created based on “countless hours of research in order to try to properly recreate the atmosphere and dynamics within the top floors of the towers.” And in execution, as you can see in the very nerve-wracking [1:45 minute] demo video, it is a fucking nightmare, even if it is filled with good intentions.

Warning: the last five seconds are pretty terrifying.

Here’s the full description of the simulator: Read more on 9/11 Oculus Rift simulator raises ethical issues…

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Call: DiGRA/FDG 2016 (1st Joint Conference of Digital Games Research Assoc. and Foundation of Digital Games)

DiGRA/FDG 2016: 1st Joint International Conference of DiGRA and FDG
August 1-6, 2016
Dundee, Scotland, UK

For the first time, the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) and the Foundation of Digital Games (FDG) will partner in an unprecedented gathering of games researchers. We invite researchers and educators within game research, broadly construed, to submit their work.

More information will soon be available from the conference’s official website (TBA).


DiGRA/FDG aims at being a venue for game research from all research disciplines. In line with this, it accepts and encourages submissions in the following six tracks, on a wide range of subjects including, but not limited to:

  • Game design: Design techniques, practices, methods, post mortems, etc.
  • Game criticism and analysis: Close readings, ontologies and frameworks, historical studies, philosophical explorations, and other humanities-informed approaches
  • Play studies + Interaction and player experience: studies of play, observations and interviews of players, and research based on other methods from the social sciences; game interfaces, player metrics, modeling player experience
  • Artificial intelligence: agents, motion/camera planning, navigation, adaptivity, procedural content generation, dialog, authoring tools, general game playing
  • Game technology: engines, frameworks, graphics, networking, animation
  • Game production: studies of game production processes, studio studies, software studies, platform studies and software engineering

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the DiGRA/FDG conference, authors and reviewers alike will be required to describe their research background and field of study as part of the submission process. The intention for this is to help reviewers be conscious of when they are reviewing work outside their own field as well as making clear the proportions of contributing fields. Read more on Call: DiGRA/FDG 2016 (1st Joint Conference of Digital Games Research Assoc. and Foundation of Digital Games)…

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Epic’s ‘Sense of Presence’ VR documentary available now

[As this story from Road to VR notes, the makers of the new four-part “Sense of Presence” video series take an optimistic view on VR and presence so it’s not the complete picture, but the short segments (only the final one is over 5 minutes) feature interesting “commentary from the leadership of Oculus, NVIDIA, Weta Digital, Oculus Story Studio, Three One Zero, Magnopus and MatterVR, to name a few”; watch all four parts on Epic’s Unreal Engine blog. -Matthew]

Read more on Epic’s ‘Sense of Presence’ VR documentary available now…

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Academic conference on ‘Love and Sex with Robots’ abruptly cancelled after being declared illegal

[As Matt Jones and I have argued, the topic of presence and sexuality raises complex but important issues; this story is from TechRepublic. –Matthew]

Art: male robot-carries woman

Academic conference on ‘Love and Sex with Robots’ abruptly cancelled after being declared illegal

Malaysian authorities deemed the second annual Love and Sex with Robots Conference, slated for November, illegal. TechRepublic talked to co-founder, Adrian David Cheok, for the story.

By Hope Reese | October 21, 2015

TechRepublic has written a lot about the introduction of robots and artificial intelligence in the workplace. But while many of these issues revolve around whether or not robots will replace humans in offices, on the battlefield, in air and deep undersea, the new promise of artificial life in “caring” forms requires new conversations about the ethical dimensions of living with machines that can “feel.”

Humanoid robots are now being introduced into nursing homes, and as therapists, for example. The new Hello Barbie toy will be a “friend” to children, holding conversations with young boys and girls. Robots are even getting married in Japan.

The ethical conversations about how to integrate robots into the human world are just beginning. A perfect example of the backlash against human-like machines happened last Friday, when Adrian David Cheok and David Levy were forced to cancel their second annual Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, set to be held in Malaysia next month. The academic conference was meant as a place for exploring broad questions about the practicalities and ethics surrounding the field of humanoid robots —like robot emotions, teledildonics, and more. Read more on Academic conference on ‘Love and Sex with Robots’ abruptly cancelled after being declared illegal…

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Futurist Ian Pearson predicts sex with robots

[Another provocative set of predictions about the future of presence and sexuality; the story is from The Daily Dot and includes two other images. See the related second post today. –Matthew]

Female robot face

[Image: Yahoo! News]

By 2050, we’ll all be having sex with robots

By Dylan Love
Oct 2, 2015

If you’re not having sex with a robot by 2050, you might be the minority.

With VR porn and connected sex on the rise, theorists and ethicists are weighing in on the near-future implications of high-tech human sexuality. A paper titled “The Rise of the Robosexuals,” co-created by futurist Ian Pearson and Internet sex shop Bondara, proposes that virtual reality sex will be commonplace by 2030, and that just 20 years later, a majority of people will be having sex with robots. At a time when the notion of sex with robots is being met with heavy concern, he takes the contrary position: robot sex will not harm human intimacy, but add to it.

The times of predicted robot sex are 35 years away, but Pearson predicts the nearer future will bring about a diverse variety of tech-enabled sex applications. Before sex robots go mainstream, we’ll see “direct nervous systems links, dream linking, and even body sharing.” We’ll be able to feel other people’s sensations simultaneously with our own, and be able send someone an orgasm as easily as we send text messages today. Simply put, future technologies will make sex “easier, safer, more frequent, and a lot more fun.” Read more on Futurist Ian Pearson predicts sex with robots…

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Call: IDC 2016 – Interactive Design & Children

Call for Participation

IDC 2016 – Interactive Design & Children
21st 24th June
Media City

Digital technologies have brought a whole range of opportunities and experiences to children. Information is available within seconds, digital games can be played anywhere, social activity can be organised with two or three text messages or social media posts; yet, more than half of the world’s children cannot participate.

Exclusion from a digital childhood comes in many guises. Children may have cognitive, physical or sensory difficulties that prevent access to otherwise commonly available experiences, children may live in environments where financial and infrastructure constraints limit their ability to participate in rapidly evolving digital cultures. By developing technologies that promote social inclusion and personal accessibility we can encourage and support creativity in all children.

IDC 2016 seeks to provoke the community to consider how best to create digital technologies that bring children together, feed their creativity and erode the barriers to participation. The conference aim is to deliver ‘research that makes a difference’ and the overarching conference themes are: Accessibility, Inclusion and Creativity.

IDC 2016 therefore invites researchers and practitioners to share their work on how technology can be designed to improve children’s well being in a global context and seeks to discover how children, their parents, teachers and peers can contribute to the design of new technology. We invite researchers and participants to share thoughts on emerging technologies for children, experiences and insights into designing and evaluating interactive technologies with children, investigations on methods and approaches to designing such technologies, new theoretical perspectives, questioning how we can build tomorrow’s technology – together.

IDC 2016 welcomes submissions in the form of full papers, short papers (notes), demonstrations, workshops, courses, work in progress / late breaking and interactive child experiences. There is also a call for participants to submit to the doctoral consortium and for late submission to our research and design competition. Submissions to all tracks (except the research and design competition for which a separate call will be announced) are invited on the following topics:

  • Innovative interactive technologies for children
  • Theoretically motivated arguments regarding interaction design and children
  • Empirical studies concerned with the interaction of children and technology
  • Methods and techniques supporting interaction design and children
  • Studies of the effects of technology on children’s lives and development
  • Reflective analyses on the field of child computer interaction and interaction design
  • Constructive design research for and with children
  • Studies discussing the involvement of children in the design process
  • Future vision articles, discussing trends and directions for the field

Read more on Call: IDC 2016 – Interactive Design & Children…

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3D Photoworks allows the blind to experience presence with artworks

[This is an inspiring story from People about the ability of new 3D printing technology to create presence experiences for the blind (see the quote in the second paragraph); the story includes more images and a 4:27 minute video, and see the 3D Photoworks website for more information and a series of videos. And see the website for Sonic Paintings for a complimentary technology. –Matthew]

3D Photoworks: Man with Mona Lisa

3D Creations Allow the Blind to Experience the World’s Greatest Artworks in a New Way

By Cathy Free

As he traced his fingers across a copy of the painting, “George Washington Crossing the Delaware,” at a convention for the blind last year, Luc Gandarias was astonished to feel a sword hanging at Washington’s side and a river swimming with chunks of ice. He could even tell that the soldiers in the boat were determined to reach shore by the intense expression in their eyes.

“It was the most vivid thing I’ve felt since I lost my sight,” says Luc, 12, of Whidbey Island, Washington, who went blind at age 7 due to a sudden case of hydrocephalus. “It had texture and such incredible detail that I almost felt like I was there.”

“I thought I would go the rest of my life without seeing something beautiful like this,” he tells PEOPLE. “But now, I don’t have to.”

Thanks to a former award-winning photographer for LIFE magazine, Luc and other visually-impaired people will now be able to experience artwork and photography in a way they never imagined. John Olson, who began his career covering the Vietnam War, started his company, 3D Photoworks, in 2008 and has spent the past seven years perfecting a patented fine art printing process that is about to make its worldwide debut. Read more on 3D Photoworks allows the blind to experience presence with artworks…

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Call: CHI UX Indonesia Conference 2016 (CHIuXiD 2016)

Call for Participation in CHI UX Indonesia Conference 2016 (CHIuXiD 2016)
“Bridging the Gaps in the HCI and UX World”
Jakarta, 13-15 April 2016

W. | F. chiuxid | T. @chiuxid | I. #chiuxid

CHIuXiD 2016 is the 2nd International Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and User Experience (UX) Conference to be held in Indonesia that has achieved the in-cooperation status with the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) for the second year in a row. This is the probably the biggest ACM SIGCHI event in Southeast Asia. Continuing the success of the first conference, CHIuXiD 2016 aims to bridge the gaps in the Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience world. As the only event in the region dedicated for leaders, experts, academics, and professionals in HCI and UX, CHIuXiD 2016 is a platform to gain and share the latest HCI and UX insights in diverse vertical industries, including finance, healthcare, banking, and telecommunication.


  • Dr. Elizabeth Churchill (Director of UX at Google, USA)
  • Professor Barry Brown (Professor, Stockholm University/Research Director, Mobile Life Centre, Sweden)
  • Professor Ellen Yi-Luen Do (Co-Director Keio-NUS CUTE Centre, Singapore/Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Professor Mark Billinghurst (Professor, University of South Australia, Australia)


  • Full Papers (max. 10 pages)
  • Short Papers (max. 4 pages)
  • Business Stories
  • Design Challenge


  • Submission Deadline: 18 December 2015
  • Notification to Authors: 2 February 2016
  • Camera Ready Version: 12 February 2016
  • Early Bird Registration Deadline: 29 February 2016
  • Conference events: 13-15 April 2016

Read more on Call: CHI UX Indonesia Conference 2016 (CHIuXiD 2016)…

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Adawarp lets you inhabit the body of a robotic teddy bear

[This invention produces presence as transportation into a social actor; the story from MIT Technology Review includes another picture and a 30 second video (the last image of which reads “Telepresence – Bear; Coming Soon”). -Matthew]

Read more on Adawarp lets you inhabit the body of a robotic teddy bear…

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  • Find Researchers

    Use the links below to find researchers listed alphabetically by the first letter of their last name.

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