Erik Champion, Associate Professor, Massey University, New Zealand
Paul Phillips, The Psychorationalist Institute, Sydney Australia
Keywords: Virtual worlds, virtual environments, evaluation issues
This special issue aims to advance the discussion and debate on the most appropriate evaluation methods for virtual worlds. Arguably, virtual worlds have now become established and commonplace both socially and in the academic literature. However, virtual worlds are not easily accommodated by HCI techniques that have traditionally focused on task performance in two dimensions. There is a large body of research on evaluating presence in virtual environments but many of the tested virtual environments were designed for the experiment itself, they were not “real world” examples. Where there have been careful and appropriate evaluations, they have generally not been published together, but scattered across a diverse range of journals and conference proceedings.
We invite both virtual world designers and HCI practitioners to submit papers dealing with the general theme of best practices for evaluating virtual worlds. Starting from a clear definition of what exactly is a virtual world, how can it be creatively transformed by digital media? Most importantly, in these virtual worlds how can these new or otherwise transfigured user experiences be most effectively and appropriately evaluated?
- Methodological critiques of evaluations of virtual worlds or the virtual worlds themselves.
- New, improved and innovative methods of evaluation, such as physiological studies, task-based performance, performative, cognitive walkthroughs, focus groups, memory recall, subjective preference, survey and questionnaire-based evaluation.
- Exemplary evaluation techniques applied to virtual worlds.
- Design features and interaction techniques that enable more effective and unobtrusive evaluation.
- Issues and advances in statistical analyses particularly suited to the design and deployment of virtual worlds.
- Definitions of virtual worlds and related concepts leading to improvements in evaluation techniques.
- Debates and controversies on suitable and appropriate evaluation of presence in virtual worlds.
- Lessons learnt from flawed or incomplete evaluation studies.
The special issue will appear in the Springer journal Virtual Reality [http://www.springer.com/computer/image+processing/journal/10055]
Papers should typically be less than 8,000 words and of standard journal content: reports of original research, review papers, essays and discussions. Papers will be peer reviewed in accordance with the journal’s normal process. Prospective authors can their intention to submit by notifying the editor with a planned title for the submission and names of authors. Papers should be submitted in Microsoft Word or Latex formats.
Please direct correspondence to email address: e dot champion (at) massey .ac.nz
Papers should be submitted to http://www.editorialmanager.com/vire/ under the relevant special issue category.
Paper submission: end of August, 2011
Initial decisions to authors: end of December, 2011
Revised version submitted by authors: end of February, 2011
Final decision to authors: end of May, 2012
Final accepted papers: end of July, 2012
The CFP can now be found on the Virtual Reality homepage (to the right):http://www.springer.com/computer/image+processing/journal/10055
We are also interested in hearing from potential reviewers for the above special issue.