Technology has also given us tools of permanent access to broad knowledge and much multi-threaded information, which historically were available only to a tiny group of experts and policymakers. In times of crisis and high uncertainty, such as the COVID 19 pandemic, unprecedentedly available expert knowledge becomes a valuable resource that allows even the standard user to influence the public discussions. The use of data, conclusions from specialist reports or references to experts strongly influences the public debate and makes it a kind of game in which the audience’s attention and trust are at stake. These mechanisms are clearly visible when discussing COVID vaccinations or subsequent medical recommendations regarding the fight against the pandemic.
If we look at games a little wider than just from the perspective of computer or board games, then suddenly it turns out that various forms of playing are constantly present in our lives, not only during rest, play, but also at work, in relationships with other people, when using the media, and even in various social, economic, political, biological, chemical, etc. processes. Under these circumstances, we want to pay attention to two interrelated areas of new technologies: gaming and VR / AR as well as a broad understanding of gamification itself.
Nowadays, games form one of the most profitable industries globally, and they are also a research field for the development of many scientific areas. Today, a game is not merely a digital product but also a cultural text, a representation, or a specific vision of the world. Video games became sophisticated stimuli, combining three elements: moving image, sound, and interactivity. The last characteristic can be observed at the level between players and the game and simultaneously at the level between players themselves.
VR and AR technologies have already been rooted in the modern world, including the mentioned area of video games. Likewise, the statement that these are new technologies in their beta phase should be nowadays seen more like a repeated slogan than the actual state of the art. The technologies mentioned above are used in many industries, not only in those related to broadly understood entertainment but also in medicine, the automotive industry, etc.
Our aim with the 2023 HTT conference is to create an international forum, a modern agora of thought exchange, and discussions about the technical aspects of human life evolution. Through this statement, we encourage researchers from worldwide to present their research and analyses centered on the human being and the technological changes around him. We argue that linking empirical social research with technological advances will better understand individuals and social groups’ behavior. We want to interpret modern people’s actions in the light of technologies surrounding him and penetrating his activities in the private and public sphere.
Keywords: AI, AR, Biometric research, Covid vaccination as a social game, eSport, Gamification, Games, Human-computer interaction, Machine learning, Media studies, Players communication, User experience, VR.