Summer School (ISSAS)


Emotions, fictions, and virtual worlds

 (July 7th-14th, Geneva, Switzerland)




The development of new technologies, which integrate the user’s social and emotional experiences, needs to transcend the current technological and scientific fields’ borders by using of trans-disciplinary approach. This goal is all the more important as a growing body of research is highlighting the potential power of new technologies such as virtual reality, robotics, videogames or human-computer interaction for health and learning purposes. Much of the current research, however, fails to bridge the gap between technology, virtual worlds and fundamental theoretical or empirical constructs such as emotions, immersion and reality, user engagement and related motivational aspects, as well as social interactions.

This year, the international summer school in affective science (ISSAS’16) will address those gaps by discussing the role of emotions in fictional (e.g. novels) and virtual worlds (such as virtual reality worlds or videogames). During one week, leading scholars in the field will question the psychological and aesthetical phenomena which foster or disrupt engagement and immersion, discuss how technologies such as virtual worlds and videogames can be used to study or train affective competencies and will consider how computational approaches can help model emotions and improve the development of intelligent interfaces or virtual agents.

The summer school aims at gathering promising young researchers and PhD students from a variety of disciplines including psychology, educational sciences, philosophy, neuroscience, virtual reality, videogames, and affective computing to discuss cutting edge concepts and advances in research, modeling, and measurements of emotions in fictional and virtual worlds.

An important part of the summer school experience includes the opportunity to work daily in small transdisciplinary groups on concepts and state of the art research questions while benefiting from the invited speakers’ advice. Moreover, using their knowledge and newly acquired skills and competencies, participants will contribute to the elaboration of an interdisciplinary research project. The best project will receive a prize at the end of the summer school.

The scientific coordination of the 2016 edition of the ISSAS was carried out by Dr Swann Pichon, who is currently funded by an Ambizione starting grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation on a project investigating the impact of prosocial and violent video-games on emotion perception, social behavior and emotion regulation.