CFP #IFM2023: Paper and Research Creation Proposals


Call for Papers for IFM Annual Conference

June 7-9, 2023

Craft, Care, Collaboration

Deadline:  January 9th, 2023

EXTENDED Deadline: Monday, January 30th, 2023

The annual Interactive Film and Media Conference invites abstracts that explore, interrogate, interweave, unravel, and reinvent the dynamic relationships between craft, care, and collaboration across new media platforms, practices, and theories. This nexus of craft, care, and collaboration has emerged as a fertile ground for thinking through the crucial yet unresolved work of combatting polarization with multiple voices, plural practices, and new ways of working together to invent shared languages and ideas. The conference invites participants to think about these three axes–craft, care, collaboration–whose definitions and relationships are not fixed, but fluid and adaptive.


Craft suggests a physical relationship to material to emphasize tactility and concrete engagement with the matter of the world. Craft traditions such as quilting bees and barn-raisings, gardening and sewing, etc., re-emerge in digital cultures through questions of tactility, working with machines, rethinking exhibition strategies, and more.  Sometimes, craft is considered as a form of individual authorship or artisanal; other times, it is deemed collective; most of the time, it winds between both. Our conference asks the following: what is craft?  Why is it important now?  Is it possible to think of craft in new ways?  How does craft work through our engagement with material?


Care implies attention to relationships between the human and the nonhuman. It is embedded in the relationship between makers/designers and subjects, and between work(s) and its participants/audience. This notion speaks to the affordances of the technologies, materials, and infrastructure that make media work possible.  Care pays attention to how work is made in communities, and how an ethics of care entails endlessly reformulated and adaptive relations that we inhabit.  How do works invite care?  What is the ongoing work of care in media work and practice?  What kinds of bonds are formed in and through this work, and how can they be nurtured, respected, and encouraged to evolve?


Collaboration has become a dominant meme in media practice and scholarly work. It opens up ways to think beyond the auteur-as-individual, drawing on long traditions across the arts and platforms of working with others. It moves from the one to the many, from the monovocal to the polyvocal.  It is often grouped with concepts such as collectivity, community, co-creation, participatory modes, activism.  What is collaboration?  How does collaboration change from project to project in different iterations and different political, social contexts?  Why is collaboration necessary or important? What challenges and pitfalls does collaboration pose? 

This conference does not propose closed definitions of the terms craft, care, and collaboration.  Nor does it map the ways in which these three terms entangle, enmesh, separate, collide.  Instead, the conference celebrates the open fields, gaps, and fissures between these terms in an initial attempt to enhance what is ambiguous, unresolved, and needing our attention. The conference invites participants to think through and imagine craft, care, and collaboration in new ways that mine these cracks and ambiguities.


Sharon Daniel, University of California, Santa Cruz

Daniel's work is located at the nexus of art and activism, theory and practice. She is a professor and media artist who creates interactive and participatory documentary artworks, innovative online interfaces, and multi-media installations addressing social, racial and environmental injustice issues. Her work has been exhibited in museums and festivals internationally, and her essays have been published in books and journals.  Daniel was honored by prestigious awards, scholarships, and grants worldwide. She is a Professor in the Film and Digital Media Department and the Digital Arts and New Media MFA program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she teaches digital media theory and practice classes. Her recent project, Exposed, an interactive documentary, which provides a cumulative public record and evolving history of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on incarcerated people, was presented at the #IFM2021 Conference and published in the proceedings.

The 5th Interactive Film and Media Virtual Conference (June 7-9) invites academics (faculty, researchers, and Ph.D. students) and practitioners (filmmakers, artists, VR and game designers, and media producers) to submit their paper abstracts. While presenters are encouraged to consider the themes of Craft Care Collaboration. Proposals on matters relevant to the IFM community and beyond are welcome.


No fee is charged for presentation and attendance at this conference or publication at the journal. 


To submit your abstract (500 words long, including the research objectives, theoretical framework, methodology, and hypotheses) and a brief Bio-CV (150-200 words), please download the paper proposal application form here:

IFM2023_Paper_Presentation_Proposal.docx and submit it to the section  ‘conference paper abstract’ at the #IFM Journal’s Submissions system by the deadline.

To guarantee full participation and inclusion at the conference of a great diversity of voices, disabilities, accessibilities, and locales from everyone in the world, presenters must submit both video and paper presentations one month before the conference. Further details and instructions will be sent once your proposal is accepted. The Scientific Committee’s decision will be taken by mid-February.


For Research Creation and Artist/Collective Projects Interactive Workshop proposals, fill out the form, including the research creation’s description, research objectives, theoretical framework and methodology, and a brief Bio-CV (150-200 words for each participant/author). Please download the research-creation presentation proposal application form here: IFM2023 Research Creation Presentation Application Form.docx and submit it to the section ‘ research-creation presentation’ at the #IFM Journal’s Submissions system by the deadline.

To guarantee presenters' full engagement and interaction during the workshop discussions, the organizers will provide an online training session before the Conference.


The video presentations and the peer-reviewed post-conference papers will be published in the #IFM Journal.


1. Digital theory: history, storytelling, intermediality, transmedia, multimedia

2. Interactive film: documentary, fiction, animation

3. Interactive platforms: teleconference, streaming, mobile screens, virtual museums, multimedia installations

4. Interactive media: webseries, digital news, snack media, ecomedia, social media

5. Games: storytelling, education, docugames, serious games, games for change

6. VR (Virtual Reality) / AR (Augmented Reality): immersion, alternative environments and realities, interfaces

7. Database and Big data: archive, politics, ethics


Hudson Moura, Chair (Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada)

Heidi Rae Cooley (The University of Texas at Dallas, USA)

Stefano Odorico (Technological University of the Shannon, Ireland and Leeds Trinity University, UK)

Patricia Zimmermann (Ithaca College, USA)


More info:

Contact email:  


No History without Accessibility

"Path of Honor" (screenshot)

Review by Kerry Wall

In his article “An ‘Alternative to the Pen’? Perspectives for the Design of Historiographical Videogames”, which appeared in the September 2022 issue of the journal Games and Culture, game-studies scholar Julien A. Bazile explores the extent to which videogames can be used to present scholarly historical arguments. Bazile differentiates between what he calls “historical videogames” that are merely set in the past and “history games” that are either developed by or under the supervision of historians or are otherwise “designed with the purpose of making a historical argument.” (857) The article argues neither for nor against adopting this approach, instead summarizing potential benefits and drawbacks as well as identifying potential lessons from the development of the history game Path of Honor. 

Bazile contrasts the development process of a history game against that of a historical game, noting that historians have served as consultants to major game-development companies on historical games but that their contributions may only be reflected superficially in the final product. A historian’s role in a history videogame, however, is one of “historian-designer” or “historian-developer”; while not necessarily the final decision maker on all technical matters, the historian becomes more of a project leader. Bazile concludes by stating that whether videogames are a useful method of presenting an academic argument is left to the individual historian, but that if the idea of a history videogame becomes a catalyst for new possibilities within traditional delivery methods, he considers the idea a success. 

Bazile’s introduction states that the article does not advocate for replacing traditional delivery methods with videogames; he discusses possible issues with using games to advance academic arguments. His exploration of potential difficulties with peer reviews raises interesting questions about how such a process would unfold and whether a universal standard could be established. For example, he notes that playing the completed game may enable peer reviewers to assess the intended final experience but that such a process could be lengthy if a game has multiple win-and-loss states or if an otherwise qualified subject-matter expert is less familiar with videogame mechanics. Reviewing the raw code or source materials may provide a more rounded view of the argument and the search materials but fails to replicate the experience of playing the game, which is the intended end state for the user. This was a well-organized accounting of possible friction between this proposed delivery method and established academic standards. 

The article is at its most thought-provoking when he Bazile?? discusses the concept of “seamlessness,” noting “the hallmark of a good videogame design is its invisibility” (864). This can be difficult to reconcile with an academic argument, as the author's credentials and the research's suitability are factors in determining the study's strength. Bazile makes a convincing argument that a history video game cannot be as “immersive” as a historical (or other non-academic) videogame because such a game might be perceived as “unauthored” or indistinguishable from a game intended as fiction. While this observation is well taken, the article suffers in his resulting speculation about an established “aesthetic convention to express uncertainty, doubt, and nuance” (864). Such a system would help to fulfill academic needs by attempting to simulate nuance, but Bazile’s specific suggestion that such games make use of “word formatting (size, font, color, or transparency)” (866) to do this runs afoul of accepted accessibility practices. As users may have various forms of colour blindness, colour should not be used as the sole method of conveying information (Brown and Anderson 706). Players are now accustomed to increasing in-game text size as needed (Brown and Anderson 708), and such an accessibility feature may conflict with the text convention Bazile suggests. While his call for establishing visual convention is merited, the article would have benefitted from an acknowledgment that such a convention would need to be developed following the principles of accessible game design. 

“An ‘Alternative to the Pen’? Perspectives for the Design of Historiographical Videogames” achieves its goals of exposing the benefits and drawbacks of using video games as a conduit for academic arguments. Bazile's observations on the possible role of historian-developer and historian-designer may give academics much to consider when assessing how to present their research. His analysis of opportunities and challenges is generally even-handed and balanced. The lack of attention to videogame accessibility is an otherwise exciting exploration of this topic.   

Works Cited 
Bazile, Julien A. “An ‘Alternative to the Pen’? Perspectives for the Design of Historiographical Videogames.” Games and Culture, vol. 17, no. 6, 2022, pp. 855–870. 

Brown, Mark, and Sky LaRell Anderson. “Designing for Disability: Evaluating the State of Accessibility Design in Video Games.” Games and Culture, vol. 16, no. 6, 2020, pp. 702–718.

The Metaverse Malfunction: Zuckerberg’s Venture Into Something Nobody Asked For

Review by Guinevere MacLeod

The Metaverse, created by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is a failed attempt to create a new digital space for virtual reality users to interact and access the internet. Although the foundations and details of the Metaverse have yet to be finessed and users should grant it ample time to find its footing, time that should be awarded to any up-and-coming innovation, it’s clear at this point that the new platform doesn’t possess the elements to contribute to any meaningful success with regard to the average user and social benefits. 

Mark Zuckerberg is launching the Metaverse, a new virtual reality technology and space that promises the benefits of holding many different identities. The book “Navigating the Metaverse: A Guide to Limitless Possibilities in a Web 3.0 World” by Cathy Hackl et al. provides insightful information on what the Metaverse is and how everyone can be involved in it. For a condensed definition, it is a cloud-based service, a limitless connection, an open social platform, and the entire internet in a headset. The problem is, or at least the problem for Zuckerberg, that nobody wants it. The current patterns and trends of technology, beyond a business standpoint, already prove that the Metaverse is destined to fail; socially, recreationally, and physically. There are many promising economic predictions made by business professionals and technology experts, such as Mark Van Rijmenam, who wrote the book “Step Into the Multiverse” in which he’s very optimistic about the possibilities. Still, there’s also global evidence presented by billions of people who are not partaking. According to Meta, the owner of Metaverse, there were 300,000 monthly users in February 2022 (Skepticism, Confusion, Frustration: Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse Struggles), which is abysmal for its multibillion-dollar budget. 

Socially, the Metaverse has been advertised as a limitless social platform, a way for users with a headset to connect seamlessly in a virtual world containing personalized characters, settings, and aesthetics. The idea of people interacting with each other without ever leaving their living room may have sounded fantastic five years ago. Still, it sounds like a dystopian continuation of a nightmare that, collectively, most people would never like to revisit. The word ‘Zoom’ already incites deep loathing in the minds of so many people, and after years of living virtually, it’s clear that this way of connecting is very few people’s first choices. 

Physically, virtual reality headsets aren’t taking off the way they were predicted. They’re uncomfortable at best and nauseating and disorienting at worst (Digital marketing guru on the metaverse: "Meta will fail and Apple will be the winner."). The feeling of putting on a headset for the first time is exciting and full of wonderment. Still, after the thrill of new technology wears off, the medium of virtual reality doesn’t possess any enticing user experience elements that would cement it as a consistent enough mode of entertainment that would warrant the costs and upkeep of the Metaverse. 

Recreationally, it simply isn’t new. The Metaverse promises a grand digital landscape open to everyone. Still, it is hindered by not only the price and physicality of wearing of a headset but by the competition of metaverses that already exist for people who would be interested in this in the first place, which isn’t as many people as the Metaverse creators seem to think. Many people have already invested so many hours into other platforms such as Minecraft, Roblox, and Fortnite, the desire to try Zuckerberg’s new world isn’t there. 

Overall, the Metaverse, at this point, seems destined to fail. It is doomed by a strange combination: the good and established aspects already exist within other universes, and the new and innovative elements are generally unpleasant and unwanted. On paper, it is promising and advanced, but socially and recreationally, nobody cares.