Submission guidelines for our next special issue, in May/June 2022
immerse‘s May/June 2022 issue is Avatars, Assets & Access. The shiny baubles of Web 3.0, NFTs and crypto have offered tech and business writers who cover digital worlds plenty of material on the creation and valuation of virtual objects. These pieces range from the informational to the advertorial, and cover a tonal range from entertainment to speculation. Articles on digital avatars tend to focus on questions of identity (the ability to try on or roleplay in new identities, for example), without examining their makers, sources or component parts.
In contrast, over the past year, immerse published Pamela Cohn’s primer on the development of visual avatars, Ziv Schneider’s posthumous reflection on an aging virtual influencer, and immerse editorial collective member Ingrid Kopp’s roundup of critical articles on the metaverse, among other related pieces. We are excited to devote the next few months to probing through what it actually takes to build, get into and pay for virtual worlds and objects.
We are interested in examining the influence of different conceptions of personhood, objecthood and the drive to reproduce photoreality on immersive nonfiction storytelling projects. We are also interested in how immersive and emerging forms of nonfiction interact with and in turn affect identity, aesthetics and notions of reality. We are seeking proposals for pieces of 1200–1500 words that critically and imaginatively reflect on these topics for a general interest audience.:
- Personhood versus objecthood of avatars
- Avatar builders, avatar makers, avatar sellers
- The IP, moral and property rights implications of selling and owning avatars
- The high cost of purchasing NFT avatars, especially when connected with an NFT community
- Design of non-playable character avatars
- Cloning function in social VR
- Context collapse and deracination of characters across different settings
- Unstable identities associated with (in)ability to transfer avatars across different platforms
- Financialization of the avatar as person
- Financialization of the ability to customize avatars (gestures, clothes and other assets)
- Third-person versus first-person POVs
- Asset builders, asset makers, asset sellers
- Role of brands and embedded advertising
- Implications of source material for scanned objects (inadvertent monocropping)
- Digital twinning of reality
- Persistence of photorealistic aesthetics
- Software and hardware that enable the scanning of reality
- And additional related issues
Proposals should be 200 words or less in length and submitted by Friday, April 1, 2022 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Accepted proposals will be notified by mid-April. Our standard fee is $250.