CfP: Why VR? Why Now?

CALL FOR PAPERS
Why VR? Why Now?: A critical discussion of Virtual Reality experiments and experiences*

Journal of Transformative Technologies
http://www.ttrujournal.com.au/call-for-papers/

Abstracts due:
February 10th, 2017

Issue Editors:
Simon Young, simon@lithodomosvr.com <mailto:simon@lithodomosvr.com>
Thao Phan, thao.phan@unimelb.edu.au <mailto:thao.phan@unimelb.edu.au>
Andrew Lynch, andrew.lynch1@unimelb.edu.au <mailto:andrew.lynch1@unimelb.edu.au>

The ‘virtual insanity’ predicted by Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay in 1997, has certainly arrived, bringing with it an unprecedented range of VR technologies and software to experience for the contemporary media consumer. While it remains to be seen which of the multitude of competing technologies (Sony’s PlayStation VR, HTC’s Vive, Samsung’s Gear VR or even the humble Google Cardboard) will reign supreme in the consumer market, there has never been a more pressing time for scholarly analysis of how this state of ‘virtual insanity’ came to be, and how we might better comprehend its significance for the academic areas of media, screen and cultural studies.

For its inaugural issue, The Journal of Transformative Technologies (JoTT) invites authors whose research involves or intersects with critical discussions of VR. Is this generation of VR experiences truly the one which will “go mainstream”, and if so, why? Does VR have the potential to supersede other less interactive media formats like film and television with more immersive engagement possibilities, or will it end up on the ever growing pile of redundant and forgotten “next big things”? How does VR’s claims to universal appeal clash with issues of accessibility and imagined audiences? Do contemporary VR experiences blur boundaries of genre in media entertainment, or are they still tethered to genres laid down by older media forms? What is the significance of aesthetics (both hardware and software) in embodied practices of VR? How have fictional representations of Virtual Realities and their input devices shaped expectations, or influenced the production, of the current generation of VR technologies?

Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

* VR experimentation in art
* VR experiences and genre theory
* VR accessibility and design
* Challenging expectations of VR experiences
* The increasing omnipresence of mediated realities
* VR and everyday life
* Predictive imaginings of VR across other media forms
* VR technologies and their futurist aesthetics
* Haptic experiences of the imaginary through VR
* Gamifying VR
* VR technologies and media archaeology
* VR and the posthuman/cyborg
* Virtual experiences and critical studies of gender and sexuality

In addition, we also welcome submissions that deal more broadly with issues relating to the areas of mediated realities and/or VR technology in theoretical or critical terms. We are open to nontraditional submissions including creative and nonlinear works.

Please send all enquiries and submissions to editor@ttrujournal.com.au. Abstracts must be accompanied by a brief curriculum vitae.

All eligible submissions will be sent for double-blind peer-review. JoTT does not charge authors for publication.

Abstracts to be submitted by February 10th 2017 with full submissions due by May 10th 2017.

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