Joshua A. Fisher, currently a Digital Media Phd candidate recently attended ICIDS 2016 – the International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS 2016) that took place at the Institute for Creative Technologies, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.
He shares his personal experiences at the conference:
My time at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies to present at the International Conference on Digital Storytelling was an absolute success. Firstly, Georgia Tech had a large presence there. Not only were my HCC colleagues, Lara Murray and Christopher Purdy present, but so were DM department alums Hartmut Koenitz and Rebecca Rouse. I have been wanting to meet Rebecca for a long time as she both researches mixed reality experience design and was an advisee of Jay Bolter. To my great honor and surprise, my contribution was up for nomination with four others, including Rebecca’s work, for best paper. In the end, Rebecca’s work won out and deservedly so! She presented fascinating research based on the Media of Attraction to discuss the growth of augmented reality and mixed reality as an industry.
The paper I presented, “Strong Concepts for Developing Non-Verbal Interactions in Mixed Reality” was well received at this primarily computer-science and narrative conference. I believe I was the only experience designer at the conference. Most others were scholars of narrative or generative narrative. In the end, this was actually a boon as I was able to develop relationships with some wonderfully innovative scholars.
I met with Hartmut’s team to discuss their research and the new program at HKU in the Netherlands. Their humanistic approach to interactive narrative is a natural evolution of Janet Murray’s work. Through our discussions, we considered the possibility of me spending a summer or a few weeks out there during winter to run a workshop on MR narrative design. This might work very well with a trip coinciding with Malmo, Sweden for interactive documentary.
Samantha Gorman of Tender Claws was in attendance and it was a pleasure to meet her. Her studio’s Pry was what got me into electronic literature and DM storytelling. I let her know that she was an inspiration and we talked about the field and the place of electric lit. She seemed to agree that more hypermediation will occur in the space. We were both unsure of mixed reality’s place in the heavily textual field.
John Murray, a CEO and developer of a new Mixed Reality headset with a wide optical viewing space than the HoloLens was at the conference. We discussed the various capabilities of the device and in what ways it could be used to engage in performances and storytelling. John wondered if the Augmented Environments Lab wouldn’t be interested in testing out his company’s hardware. I let him know that I’d pass along the message to Blair MacIntyre and that it would be a great opportunity.
I’ll be teaching Video Production next semester and had decided to take a few classes to talk abut 360 video production. I was excited to meet Sergei Tereschenko, the executive producer of the famous Chernobyl360 project. He’s agreed to come and speak to the class over Skype about his production. Additionally, I attended a brilliant workshop put on by the VR journalist group VRagments out of Berlin. They presented a hands-on prototyping class for planning VR narratives. I wouldn’t call what they did VR journalism by any stretch of the imagination. It was more akin to documentary as one actually planned shots and deliberated. It’s a far cry from the on-the-fly production of journalism.
Lastly, I discussed gathering syllabi related to interactive narrative from a variety of institutions to begin identifying pedagogical threads with Colette Daiute of the CUNY Graduate Center and Hartmut. In lieu of picking or canonizing a particular text, we thought it might be otherwise beneficial to collect a list of best practices. We imagine there will likely be a wide range of similarities and by organizing these into groups it might be possible to further define epistemological spaces.
More about the conference: http://icids2016.ict.usc.edu/