Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: April 12, 2023, 9:29 a.m. Humanist 36.521 - pubs cfp: VR, its history and its games

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 521.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2023-04-11 12:16:03+00:00
        From: Leighton Evans <>
        Subject: Call for initial abstracts for Book Chapters: Virtual Reality Gaming: embodiment, presence, immersion.

Virtual Reality (VR) is not a new technology by any stretch of the
imagination. Regardless of how futuristic VR might appear in popular
culture, VR encompasses a rich and varied history that began to surface
in the 1980s and 1990s when VPL Research produced a number of commercial
devices (e.g. the DataGlove and Audiosphere). As exciting as these
systems were, the technology simply could not live up to the hype
(Evans, 2018). The level of 'immersion' associated with these
developments was just not enough to fulfil the implicit promise of VR.
Simply put, the available technology was not able to conjure an
experience of being present in a digital world that felt in any way
'real' (Shields, 2005).

In contrast to the failed hype of its first few decades, contemporary VR
is going through a marked 'renaissance' (Evans, 2018). Modern systems,
such as the Meta Quest 2, are not only far more affordable than earlier
offerings, but these headsets also represent a new era of standalone VR.
Arguably gaming is the most visible form of media reinterpreted by VR.
The emergence of virtual reality (VR) as a medium for games poses a
challenge to researchers and designers with regards to reconceptualising
the relationship between system, player and game play - in essence, a
reconsideration of the human-computer interface (HCI) of gaming. The
challenge has deep roots; the euphoric techno-utopianism of the
discourses around 1990s VR was a reflection of the implicit and explicit
revolutionary nature of VR as radically immersive and intimate compared
to other interfaces. However, when considering the human-computer
interaction of VR and games, the notion of immersion as an a priori
property of VR  is problematic. The notion of immersion as a given
creates a confusion when considering the relationship between immersion,
embodiment and presence in VR, and fails to consider the intertwined
relationship between these states felt by the gamer and how they are
contingent on but also independent from one another.

VR should, in theory, aid the sense of presence in games for the player.
VR incorporates bodily movement and orientation into the game
environment, arguably improving the sense of 'being there' in the game.
However, it is often unclear whether the success of games in VR in
creating this increased sense of presence is not a function of the use
of VR as a medium for the game but instead is a function of the design
and immersive qualities of the game itself. To address this, more
attention is required in understanding the processes of making of and
experiences of VR games and the spatial, ludic and narrative aspects of
games that affect immersion, embodiment and presence in VR games.

>From the early stages of development of consumer VR, games have been divided
into two kinds: VR ports, which are games developed for non-VR systems and
converted into VR and built-from-the-ground-up-for-VR games, games developed
specifically for VR. Gaming in VR is marked by a tension between existing and
emerging gaming forms. The differences between these kinds of game remain
problematic in terms of immersion, embodiment and presence and the continuing
development of VR ports is an issue with regards to harnessing the potential of
VR for gaming. The framing of the affordances of VR in games is a key issue
which demands further attention.

This volume will explore these and other issues with regards to VR
games. This book invites chapter proposals that grapple with the unique
aspects of VR games as they relate to immersion, embodiment and presence
and other issues that arise from the intersection of gaming and VR.
Themes may include, but are not limited to, the following:

   *   Immersion and immersive experience in VR Games
   *   Embodiment and modes of embodiment in VR games
   *   VR Interfaces for games
   *   Hapticity in VR games
   *   Porting games to VR
   *   The affordances of built-from-the-ground-up-for-VR games
   *   The subjective feeling of presence in VR games
   *   Genre conventions in VR games
   *   The emotional aspects of VR gaming
   *   The role of VR gaming in establishing, maintaining and dissolving
   *   Safeguarding in VR
   *   Representation in VR games as a contributor to immersion,
embodiment and presence
   *   'Bad' VR games and what does not work in VR
   *   VR game design as a contributor to immersion, embodiment and presence
   *   Spatial practices in VR games and the feeling of VR worlds

Proposals should include the contributor's/author's name, a brief
biography, and an abstract of a maximum of 500 words (not counting
citations.) The editors will notify authors if their abstract is
accepted, at which point the authors will eventually submit a chapter
between 4000-6000 words in length. Please send proposals to Leighton
Evans (<>) and<> by
Tuesday 1st August 2023.

Dr Leighton Evans

Associate Professor | Athro Cysylltiol
Director, Centre of Digital Arts and Humanities | Cyfarwyddwr, Canolfan
y Celfyddydau Digidol a'r Dyniaethau
Department of Literature, Media & Language| Yr Adran Llenyddiaeth,
Cyfryngau a Leithoedd
School of Culture & Communication | Ysgol Diwylliant a Chyfathrebu
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences | Cyfadran y Dyniaethau a'r
Gwyddorau Cymdeithasol
Digital Technium 121 | Techniwm Digidol 121
Swansea University | Prifysgol Abertawe
+44792 602843

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