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Jonathan Hook <[log in to unmask]>
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Jonathan Hook <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 21 Jan 2022 14:57:06 +0000
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Deadline for 500-word Abstract Submissions: 15 February 2022
Deadline for Full Papers: 15 June 2022
Expected date of publication: May 2023

We invite submissions for a special issue of Convergence: The International
Journal of Research into New Media Technologies on the topic of Immersive
Storytelling (

Storytelling is central to the immersive entertainment industry in all its
variety: Alternative Reality Games (ARGs); escape rooms; experiential art;
immersive audio; Live Action Role Play (LARP); live experiences
incorporating Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR); scare and
other themed attractions; immersive interactive theatre; transmedia and
virtual experiences. The industry underpins an international marketplace
that encompasses everything from Dreamscape Immersive’s location-based VR
attractions, to Museum of Ice Cream’s multi-sensory installations, to Punch
Drunk’s immersive theatre shows; examples spread across the USA, Singapore,
Dubai and China. The global pandemic has accelerated the pace of R&D as the
power of creative minds has focused on connecting with dispersed audiences
in their own homes and locales using technologies like streaming and mobile
device applications. With this come the challenges of retaining qualities
of liveness and collective experience when people can’t physically travel
or congregate in large numbers.

At this time of experimentation, adaptation and recovery we can reflect on
the current reality of the ‘experience economy’ conceived by Pine and
Gilmore in 1998, given that immersion is a contested term and the diverse
forms listed above all have complex histories. The goal is to bring
together perspectives from the global research community across multiple
disciplines which have a stake in developing, studying and critically
interrogating immersive storytelling.

The Editors welcome contributions on any topic related to immersive
storytelling, such as:

* Definitional debates and histories. This could include taxonomies,
historical background, disciplinary perspectives and comparative analyses
of existing works.

* Collaboration and partnership models. This could include examples of
production practice, digitally enabled forms (including
algorithmic/automated generation) and authoring processes (including

* Platforms, tools, techniques. This could include content creation tools,
underpinning technologies/techniques, prototype systems, conceptual designs
and strategies to scaffold user interaction.

* Aesthetics and new modes of experience. This could include
emergent/hybrid creative methodologies, economic value, business model
innovation, the contexts of consumption, industries of research and
criticism, investment priorities (e.g. the UK’s £72 million Creative
Industries Sector Deal); and the impact of these on cultural policy,
professional skills and creative sector employment, especially in light of
threats to arts funding

* Critical approaches to immersive storytelling. This could include modes
of participation (agency, liveness, presence and collective experience) and
strategies of support (funding and pricing models).

* Researching immersion and immersive experiences. This could include
research histories, approaches to user testing and audience research, and
intersectional methodologies for analysing creative practice.

* Sites, contexts and cultures of immersive storytelling production. This
could include issues of representation, social justice, public attitudes,
the digital divide, global variations in technology access and usage, and
the ethics of using personal data (including unintended consequences).

We are open to a range of approaches in exploring this topic, which is
broadly conceptualised, and particularly welcome submissions that address
immersive storytelling practice, audiences and research in the global

To submit: Please send a 500-word abstract and a 100-word bio per author to
the guest editors at [log in to unmask] and
[log in to unmask] by 15 February 2022

Authors of accepted abstracts will be contacted in mid-March and invited to
submit full contributions by 15 June 2022

Guest Editors: Sarah Martindale (University of Nottingham, UK) and Jonathan
Hook (University of York, UK)

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