Appel à communication : Presence Special issue – Virtual Reality and Sport

Special Issue of Presence:

Teleoperators and Virtual Environments
Virtual Reality and Sports

Guest Editors: Franck Multon, Richard Kulpa, and Benoît Bideau

Understanding how humans acquire skills to perform complex motor tasks in sports is a
multidisciplinary and challenging issue. It involves addressing complex complementary
aspects including perception, motor control, decision-making, cognition, and social behaviors.
Sport is an extreme human activity where all the human factors are used up to their limit. For
example, almost all sports involve dealing with the complex perception-action coupling
assuming that people act to perceive and perceive to act. For sports scientists, this coupling is
a real problem leading to the design of highly controlled scientific protocols. These protocols
are very far from the real situations and make it difficult to apply scientific knowledge on
designing training programs. Virtual reality (VR) has been widely used to train people driving
or repairing complex systems. It has also been successfully applied to treat people who have
psychological diseases and phobias. VR is also a very promising investigation tool for sports
training as it tries to preserve the naturalness of a situation while ensuring a strict control of
the situation, as opposed to the real world. Once identified, the relevant parameters (correlated
with a good performance) can be trained in virtual environments while displaying additional
and meaningful information.
In addition to these fundamental questions, using VR in sports raises new technological
challenges, such as (but not limited to) simulating realistic virtual opponents, ensuring multisensorial
feedback, and designing specific immersive platforms. One key point is that most of
the users are experts in their sport and are very exigent regarding the possible transfer on their
real practice. Complementary to this type of expert training, recent developments of video
games (such as Nintendo WiiFit) have demonstrated the interest for people with various ages
and training status to practice virtual sport. A lot of scientific work has to be carried out to
investigate how this kind of practice can actually enhance health and performance.
In this special issue, we invite the community to report experiences in using VR for sports
training and understanding. We do want to solicit frank discussions about how virtual reality
could be used for training people in acquiring and enhancing motor skills thanks to VR and
what is the future for this kind of approach. We also encourage papers dealing with new
technologies for interacting with virtual environments that emphasize natural motion, if these
papers have a clear application in sports and contain experimental results. In this call for
papers, we would interpret VR quite liberally as including various different types of mediated
reality, including computer games and augmented reality.
Thus, topics of interest would include (but not be limited to):

  • Virtual reality for sport psychology, biomechanics and exercise physiology
  • Gesture interaction between real and virtual humans
  • Sport learning and training, physical education using VR
  • Motion and performance analysis and visualization through immersive systems
  • Fitness using VR
  • Virtual sports
  • Sport events broadcast, virtual enhancements
  • Training motor skills in VR
  • Virtual human for sports application
  • Interaction techniques applied to sports simulation in VR
  • New training paradigms using VR for motor skills learning
  • VR to maintain health by encouraging physical activities
  • Presence when using VR for sports training

We would discourage authors from sending papers that describe new software or architectures
unless that software and the paper are based on a critical analysis of a problem domain and
contain critiques of existing approaches. We encourage reports on experiments that have
seriously addressed the problem of training or studying motor skills using VR. We also
discourage authors from sending general papers about sports (e.g., “sports psychology,
physiology and biomechanics” in a wide sense) but specifically virtual reality in sports.

Submission Deadline: March 31, 2010

Please send documents in .pdf form to presence@mit.edu. Email attachments are preferred.
Include contact information for the corresponding author in the body of the email. Papers
should conform to the submission guidelines available at

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/page/sub/pres

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