Welcome to the 5th Annual CHCI Immersive Storytelling Workshop Site


Stories are an effective way to make sense of our experiences in the world. We use them to explain our lived experiences and the reasons behind our actions. By sharing stories with others, we can entertain, educate, and transmit knowledge between generations and cultures. As we experience a story, we understand and see the world of the storyteller. 

Advances in augmented and virtual reality are now enabling a new way to share and experience stories. Immersive environments can bring participants to the center of the action. This has prompted researchers and practitioners to ask, what does the future of storytelling look like?  At the forefront of this are questions about how interactivity, immersion, and artificial intelligence change the way we design and experience stories? Our research in this area over the next several years will no doubt answer these questions by drawing upon expertise from a wide variety of disciplines in the sciences and humanities.

Current research has suggested that VR can be used to elicit empathy, reduce implicit bias, and decrease prejudice. These findings open the possibility that well-designed immersive experiences can create a much stronger connection to a story than afforded by non-immersive media. But there are still questions that remain about who is most impacted by immersive stories and the degree to which they will be affected.   

Furthermore, as immersive stories become widespread and are coupled with large databases and biometric data, we must consider how we can ensure that these experiences support positive outcomes. We must consider questions such as how we might ensure equity in discourse in VR, or  how can we design systems to support ethical standards, truth, and impartiality? Future research might also consider how we prevent dark patterns and psychological manipulation?

The goal of this Immersive Storytelling Workshop is to establish a leading research program that will address questions regarding the nature of immersive storytelling and its associated effects on personal and societal levels. The workshop will be open to the VT community and we expect to involve researchers from a variety of fields, such as psychology, computer science, humanities, journalism, as well as practitioners from industry. Outcomes of the workshop may include proposals for research, conference and journal publications, and guidelines for responsible design of immersive stories and for effective use of immersive environments.This is the fifth workshop organized by the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech. Previous workshops are: Algorithms that Make you Think (2018), Designing Socio-Technical Systems of Truth (2017), Technology on the Trail (2016), and the inaugural workshop, What comes after HCI: people, systems and information (2015).

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