Virtual reality (VR) is now being deployed for therapeutic purposes in diverse sensitive settings, e.g.: immersive VR experiences are used for diversional therapy in aged care and as a therapy tool for people with phobias and conditions such as post-traumatic stress. While these uses of VR offer great promise to benefit people’s lives, they also present significant challenges. This workshop aims to provide a forum for researchers working in this emerging space to share stories about their experiences of designing and evaluating VR applications in sensitive settings, and to discuss challenges encountered when leveraging these technologies to improve people’s lives.
We invite researchers working with virtual reality in sensitive settings, to submit 2-4 page position papers (in ACM Extended Abstract format). Position papers should: describe a particular use of VR, highlight the challenges faced in deploying the system, and identify any ethical concerns the authors have encountered in this work.
Submissions should be submitted in .pdf format via Easychair. Position papers will be reviewed by the organizing committee and selected on the basis of relevance to the workshop themes, quality of presentation, and potential to stimulate discussion.
At least one author of each accepted submission must register for the workshop and at least one day of the main conference.
This workshop will bring together researchers working in a range of settings including but not limited to psychotherapeutic settings, rehabilitation, aged care, psychology, social gerontology, social work, and other health or care-related disciplines. The workshop is aimed at both emerging researchers (doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers) and more senior researchers who have conducted design and research projects on VR in sensitive settings or who are beginning to work in this emerging area.
Submissions are solicited in the form of short position papers (2-4 pages) that describe a particular use of VR and highlight the challenges faced in designing and deploying the system in a sensitive setting. Prior to the workshop, we will invite authors of accepted papers to join a Slack community that will allow us to communicate with everyone, and actively involve participants in the preparation of the workshop, e.g., by engaging in conversation on key topics. This would also allow co-authors not present on the day to contribute to the discussions. In addition, we will publish position papers on the workshop website and arrange reading groups so that participants read a selection of position papers prior to the workshop.
The workshop will be interactive, involving a mix of focused small-group discussions and whole-group brainstorming. The morning session will start with rapid 3-minute introductions, followed by break-out discussion groups focusing on position papers, grouped according to specific application areas (e.g., mental health, aged care, clinical settings). In these reading groups, participants will be asked to analyze the position papers in their group and identify core themes. Themes will focus on the opportunities and challenges associated with designing and deploying VR in the specific application area that each group is focusing on. These will be shared and discussed with the whole group during a reporting back session.
After lunch, participants will take part in an activity in which they read and respond to a series of semi-fictional scenarios, which will be placed on posters around the room. These scenarios will be drafted from the research experiences of the organizing committee and/or cases presented in the position papers. They will describe situations in which the design/deployment of VR has not worked as expected, creating difficulties in the co-design process or ethical challenges encountered in the deployment and evaluation. Moving around the room, participants will add post-it notes to the scenarios, answering the following question: what would you do in this situation? We intend for this activity to provoke thought and discussion, and possibly disagreement, among participants.
Participants will then break into small groups to workshop ideas that should be included in a manifesto of good practice in the design/deployment of VR in sensitive settings. These ideas will be collated and drafted into a blog post during a whole group brainstorming session at the end of the workshop (recorded in a Google document during the discussion).
The key intended outcome of this workshop is a manifesto calling for good practice in the design and deployment of VR in sensitive settings. The manifesto will initially take the form of a blog post, drafted during the final group brainstorming session of the workshop (drawing on the preceding activities and discussions) and published on the workshop website. This will then be further developed and submitted as a workshop summary to Interactions magazine. The manifesto will outline co-design strategies and ethical issues for HCI researchers and others to consider when designing and deploying VR in sensitive settings.
In addition to the manifesto, the workshop will collate examples and stories of VR design/use in sensitive settings. These include participants’ experiences, shared via the position papers published on the workshop website and expanded during workshop discussions, and the semi-fictional scenarios that we will create prior to the workshop. By sharing these experiences and stories, we aim to develop a better understanding of the challenges facing researchers when designing and evaluating VR in sensitive settings. The scenarios, and participants’ responses to them, will be developed into case studies to accompany the manifesto on the workshop website and in any follow-up publications.
Finally, by bringing together researchers working in this emerging area, we aim to build a community of practice and create a space for researchers facing similar challenges to engage in ongoing discussions and continue to learn from each other’s experiences. In the final workshop session we will discuss ways of maintaining ongoing community discussions: for example, through social media groups, regular blog posts on Medium, or via a dedicated SIGCHI community group. In the closing session we will discuss the need for further collaborative research in this space, ideas for future workshops (see below), and opportunities to co-author publications and prepare a special issue of a journal focusing on the issues discussed in the workshop.
position papers due: 16th April
notifications by: 30th April
registration at http://dis2018.org/attending.html
the workshop will run at Designing Interactive Systems 2018, Hong Kong, on either Saturday 9th or 10th June.
Kathrin Gerling, Adalberto Simeone, KU Leuven
Christopher Headleand, University of Lincoln
Click to download our workshop proposal.