Proposed dates:

10-12 November, 2022


Innovation Center of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary


From the Holodeck to the Metaverse: Interactive Speculative Narratives. Online, mixed reality, performing arts projects representing complex issues, addressing personal health and speculating about the future.

The Metaverse can be considered as a possible realization of the Holodeck concept, a fully realized immersive environment depicted in the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series and described in Janet H. Murray’s seminal book Hamlet on the Holodeck. Although the Metaverse itself is not (yet) fully realized, the concept inspires us to develop and try out new formats for connecting the analogue and the virtual spheres. Performances made in social VR platforms experiment with the sense of shared liveness and common activities that have an effect in both the physical and the virtual spheres of our experiences. Productions for VR headsets are experimenting with various storyworld architectures while each consecutive announcement of a forthcoming AR headset creates additional expectations. The ever tighter connection between the physical and digital spheres does have the potential to create experiences that are more similar to the ones depicted for the Holodeck, with increased visual fidelity, more modes of interaction and a higher level of agency.

To better grasp the changing world and the complexity of the changes, it is important to improve emerging artistic and scientific practices to enable critical reflection. Virtual Environments and the Metaverse provide particular opportunities in this regard, provided we embrace the changing relations between creators, audiences and scientists they bring about. Virtual Environments could also be described as interactive design fictions (Sterling, 2012), virtual sandboxes to try out novel ways of communicating, interacting and expressing, in the sense of “Playful Utopias” (Koenitz 2019). This notion connects VEs to the long tradition of literary and cinematic utopias and their effect on reality (cf Shedroff et. al. 2012) and positions VEs as a more democratic, participatory form of speculative narratives, especially in the realm of Metaverse-like environments. In this year’s conference, we aim to have a special emphasis on how IDN’s and related applications can guide us to a more peaceful future and/or also guide us for taking better care of each other.

We also welcome presentations that discuss research results related to physical and mental healthcare and completed projects that use Interactive Digital Narratives (IDN) for representing complex topics or as actual tools used in healthcare. Existing research looks into mental health therapy applications, e.g. interactive story authoring to facilitate the process of reflection (see Brown and Chu 2021) or the use of a transmedia narrative framework can be used for pediatric counseling (Kadastik and Bruni 2021). In recent years, the use of interactive digital storytelling in interdisciplinary research and education methods became more prevalent (see Skains 2021) and we invite presentation of such projects to the Zip-Scene community to demonstrate how applied IDN research can serve as a tool for treatment, healing or relaxation.

The Zip-Scene Conference takes XR/extended reality (VR/AR/MR) and Metaverse-related works seriously and treats them on equal footing to film and performing arts, and wishes to expand its scientific treatment and reflection. On this basis, we are inviting papers that address narrative experiences enabled by digital platforms, especially online and XR or related to the Metaverse. We are also looking for IDN practices and prototypes from medical and mental healthcare practices that could offer new approaches on how storytelling can be embedded in scientific practices. Papers should address either one or several of the following questions:

Metaverse-related developments

  • What effect did the COVID-19 pandemic have on interactive digital narrative artefacts and their integration into Metaverse-like platforms (e.g. theatre performances)?
  • What kind of metaverse do we imagine for our future?
  • What is specific to the metaverse-related platforms and how can these create new ways of storytelling?
  • How can museums’ and cultural institutions’ IDNs orient themselves towards these platforms and how can they reach out to new audiences?
  • What novel topics can be studied with the help of IDNs?
  • How can interactive physical installations or productions be adapted for Metaverse-related platforms?
  • What kind of principles of design do social VR platforms or XR productions make use of? (e.g. puzzle dependency charts and plot-shaped level design – see Short, 2019)
  • How can we explore free-form play and rule-based gaming as different types of performances within social VR platforms, mixed-reality theatre and immersive theatre?

IDNs and their healthcare/psychology applications

  • What makes IDNs a suitable tool for studying the brain or for understanding consciousness?
  • How can IDNs work as an additional tool for relaxing and even treating psychological disorders?
  • How can we integrate interactive digital storytelling practices into healthcare procedures and how can we improve the onboarding processes, e.g. when using VR both for doctors and patients?
  • What are the new and exciting examples of integrated VR applications in scientific research?
  • What are the latest developments in IDN production for helping those in need (e.g. language learning apps for Ukrainian refugees)?

IDN authoring and artistic outputs

  • What engagement with and control over the narrative path is desirable for the audience-turned-participants when interacting with IDNs?
  • What does immersion mean in virtual productions? What is the audience’s expectations from a sensorial or virtual immersive event?
  • Which kinds of design strategies encourage audience participation and co-creation?
  • What kind of design strategies can we use to provide a satisfying level of agency to participant audiences and how can we provide opportunities for co-creation?
  • What can we learn from a comparison of site-specific live arts productions with those of online projects or VR projects?

Conference themes:

  • Interactive storytelling methods and authoring
  • Video games
  • Virtual reality experiences & movies
  • Augmented reality in interactive storytelling
  • Interactive performing arts practices
  • Interactive museums and archives
  • Immersive environments (media archeology and phenomenological approach)
  • Special track #1: Metaverse-related research
  • Special track #2: Interactive storytelling in physical and mental healthcare (case studies and research)

Call for presentation

Proposals may be for a paper/panel and should be related to at least one of the conference themes. Deadline for submitting the proposals is June 30, 2022 July 15, 2022. Please send us your abstract (max. 350 words) and a short bio (max. 300 words) to and also to in CC. The papers will be reviewed by the conference committee. If your proposal will be accepted you will be given 20 minutes for your presentation.

Call for workshops (for 12th of November)

Workshop proposals are also welcome: on the 12th of November we offer the space for ca 4-5 hours workshops at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design – Innovation Center. Please send you workshop proposal (max 700 words including the detailed schedules) and please also mention what is the maximum participation number. We can provide room for the workshop and a basic technical setup.

General information

The conference is intended as an in-person event in Budapest, baring complications caused by the pandemic. The organizer reserves the right to make changes to the event program.

Registration fee

Both for papers and workshop leaders): 65 EUR (physical attendance)

(Reduced registration fee is available upon request)

More information about visitor tickets in September.

The organizers cannot cover travel and accommodation costs. Upon request we can provide you with an invitation letter.

For Whom

The conference addresses scientific researchers, game professionals, programmers, artists, scholars and professionals from the fields of performing arts and game studies, as well as interactive storytellers, experience designers, narrative designers, VR-professionals and philosophers and others concerned with the conference topics. The conference aims to bring together emerging scholars, professionals and creators in order to create a joint platform which would help individuals to understand and to develop these types of productions.

Organised by:

Innovation Center of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest
ARDIN – Association for Research in Digital Interactive Narratives

Strategic partner:

  1. Interactive Digital Narratives for Complexity Representations – INDCOR Cost Action
  2. Code and Soda Company
  3. Random Error Studio

Supported by:

National Cultural Fund (NKA)
Innovation Center of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest

Consultant on behalf of ARDIN/INDCOR:

Hartmut Koenitz


Brown, S. A., & Chu, S. L. (2021). “You Write Your Own Story”: Design Implications for an Interactive Narrative Authoring Tool to Support Reflection for Mental Health in College Students. In International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (pp. 312-321). Springer, Cham.

Jenkins. H. (2006). Convergence Culture. New York, University Press.

Kadastik, N., & Bruni, L. E. (2021). A Transmedia Narrative Framework for Pediatric Hearing Counseling. In A. Mitchell, & M. Vosmeer (Eds.), Interactive Storytelling - 14th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2021, Proceedings (Vol. 13138, pp. 365-378). Springer. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)

Koenitz, H. (2015). Towards a Specific Theory of Interactive Digital Narrative. In H. Koenitz, G. Ferri, M. Haahr, D. Sezen, & T. I. Sezen (Eds.), Interactive Digital Narrative (pp. 91–105). New York: Routledge.

Koenitz, H. (2019). Playful Utopias. Sandboxes for the Future. In Beil, B. et al. Clash of Realities, transcript Verlag, Bielefeld,

Murray, J. Research into Interactive Digital Narrative: A Kaleidoscopic View. In: Rouse R., Koenitz H., Haahr M. (eds) Interactive Storytelling. ICIDS 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 11318. Springer, Cham, 2018.

Rouse, R. (2016). Media of attraction: a media archeology approach to panoramas, kinematography, mixed reality and beyond. In: Nack, F., Gordon, A.S. (eds.) ICIDS 2016. LNCS, vol. 10045, Springer, Cham, 97–107.

Shedroff N. & Noessel Ch, (2012). Make It So. Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction. Berlin: Rosenfeld Media.

Short, E. (2019) Mailbag: Self-Training in Narrative Design. Accessed 30 April 2022.

Skains, J., Rudd, A.J., Casaliggi, C., Hayhurst, E.J., Horry R., Ross H., Woodward K., (2021). Using Interactive Digital Narrative in Science and Health Education. Bingley: Emerald Publishing.


DAY 1 10 November, 2022, Thursday

  • I. Transdisciplinarity in Immersive Storytelling

    Including the panel by Federica Cavaletti & Sofía Seinfeld

    Changing avatars, changing minds. How virtual user representations shape who we are.

  • 10.00 - 10.20
    Shields and shelters. Negotiating one’s body between real and virtual worlds
    Federica Cavaletti
  • 10.20 - 10.40
    Embodiment in virtual reality. How changing virtual bodies impacts attitudes and behaviors
    Sofía Seinfeld
  • 10.40 - 11.00
    AR cinema: Visual storytelling and embodied experiences with augmented reality filters and backgrounds
    Szita Kata & Jennifer O’Meara
  • 11.00 - 11.20
    Metaverse as a speculative alter-reality of narrative worlds in an AI system
    Serbanescu, Anca
  • 11.20 - 11.30
  • 11.30 - 11.50
  • Technologies of Gender, Virtual Realities

  • 11.50 - 12.10
    The Sticky Headset: Pornography, Virtual Reality and Gendered Bodies
    Roberto Paolo Malaspina
  • 12.10 - 12.30
    Performances of subversion in the metaverses: the cases of Becoming Dragon by micha cárdenas and the (g)Ender Gallery by Cat Haines
    Margherita Fontana
  • 12.30 - 12.50
    Connected Feminist Practices: Online Episodes of Resistance
    Sofia Pirandello
  • 12.50 - 13.00
  • 13.00 - 14.00
    Lunch Break
  • Performativity & theatre in IDN

  • 14.00 - 14.20
    New ways of storytelling in theatre using immersive technologies in the frame of PlayON
    Vidovszky György
  • 14.20 - 14.40
    The Gaming Democracy Project: Virtual Democracy in the Age of Fascism IRL (In Real Life)
    Joseph Dunne-Howrie & Dr Tom Drayton
  • 14.40 - 15.00
    Making the Future of Media Theater through Conversation, Exchange, and Production
    Rebecca Rouse&Lars Kristensen
  • 15.00 - 15.10
  • 15.10 - 15.30
  • VR and medial adaptations

  • 15.30 - 15.50
    Need’s Analysis for Interactive Data-Driven Storytelling: Shamanic Epics
    Zeynep Bilgenur Zengi and Nur Cemelelioğlu
  • 15.50 - 16.10
    Virtual reality and literature - promising romance or dead-end relationship? On VR Nightsss and beyond
    Agnieszka Przybyszewska
  • 16.10 - 16.30
    Learning from Witches: Applying The Transformative Power of Occult Ceremonial Rituals to Extended Reality Design
    Maria Saridaki and Mariza Dima
  • 16.30 - 16.40
  • 16.40 - 17.00
  • Keynote session
    organized in cooperation with MOME IC

  • 17.00 - 17.30
    Mental health and VR applications
    Thomas Saaby Noer (Khora)
  • 17.30 - 18.00
    The Metaverse in Business and Education
    Chris Anton (MeetinVR)
  • 18.00 - 18.30
    The Metaverse and the Future of Work and Education
    Saskia Groenewegen (Ordina)
  • 18.30 - 19.00
    Interactive session
    led by Christian Roth

DAY 2 11 November, 2022, Friday

  • New Technologies and Narrating Health

  • 10.00 - 10.20
    Playing with Death - The transformative impact of interactive narrative media dealing with Death, Loss and Grief
    Christian Roth, Zuraida Buter, Maria Saridaki
  • 10.20 - 10.40
    Narrative Medicine and its possibilities in the Metaverse
    Danielle Spencer
  • 10.40 - 11.00
    Digital outdoor spaces to improve older people’s wellbeing: narratives in virtual reality
    Marcos Figueiredo
  • 11.00 - 11.20
    Will The Metaverse Make Us Apes Again? The impact of virtual reality on human physical health, from an ergonomic perspective
    Eran Franco
  • 11.20 - 11.30
  • 11.30 - 11.50
  • Designing the metaverse from multidisciplinary aspect

  • 11.50 - 12.00
    Live Participatory Worldbuilding
    Ash Eliza
  • 12.00 - 12.20
    The First Metaverse Fashion Week as a Temporal Experience
    Anna Keszeg
  • 12.20 - 12.40
    Surfing the edge of chaos. Adaptive leadership development in pretensive shared realities
    Mátyás Hartyándi
  • 12.40 - 13.00
    How the Metaverse would impact health – a “double vision"
    Iva Georgieva
  • 13.00 - 13.10
  • 13.10 - 14.30
    Lunch Break
  • Case studies

  • 14.30 - 14.50
    "Dreams about girls"
    Katharine Haverich
  • 14.50 - 15.10
    Cultural Heritage and VR
    Selma Rizvic
  • 15.10 - 15.30
    Mixed-Reality and Immersive Cultural Heritage
    Dr Mariza Dima, Dr Damon Daylamani-Zad, Dr Holly Maples, Dr Dominique Bouchard
  • 15.30 - 15.50
    "Holy Fire" Case Study - VR
    Zsombor Sváb
  • 15.50 - 16.00
  • 16.00 - 16.30
  • Pespectives on authoring strategies in XR development

  • 16.30 - 17.00
    Sound design strategies implemented in interactive speculative environments to support the experience of feeling safe and co-regulation
    Pola Borkiewicz and Piotr Maj
  • 17.00 - 17.30
    XR Storytelling Methods & Authoring for the Metaverse
    Eve Weston
  • 17.30 - 18.00
  • 18.00 - 18.30
    How to challenge depression in VR space?
    Ondrej Moravec
  • 18.30 - 19.00
    Mental health and VR applications
    Thomas Saaby Noer
  • 19.00 - 19.10
    Closing remarks by Hartmut Koenitz

DAY 3 12 November, 2022, Saturday

  • Workshops

  • 10.00 - 13.00
    The Art of Volumetric Photography
    host: Branko Sujić (SR)
    Art of volumetric photography - The aim of the workshop is to present techniques and tools of photogrammetry and promote the idea of volumetric photography as an art form, especially in the field of virtual reality. The photogrammetry is often used as a technique for creating assets in video and gaming arts, but is rarely seen as art of its own. In addition, this workshop will address the image composition as one of the essential elements of visual arts.
  • 13.30 - 16.30
    Live Coding with VR
    host: Boris Vitazek (SK)
    Live coding with VR - how and what tools to use when developing installations and performances in VR - using systems that allow for live programming while the application is running could be very helpful when developing with VR - it allows for programming in tandem with someone else, changing elements while the headset is on, and helps a lot when developing performances that deal a lot with movement and space. Tools like VVVV, unity visual programming, and vcv rack allow for a lot of freedom during development - and you can look into the process and approaches of Boris Vitazek while working on his installations and performances in this workshop.
  • 10.00 - 12.00
    Celebrating Life (interactive storytelling workshop)
    host: Christian Roth (NL/DE), Zuraida Buter (DE), Maria Saridaki (UK/GR)
    In this workshop you are prototyping a transformational experience by using a performative co-creation process. In small groups you will use symbols in different forms to convey an insight surrounding the topic: Celebrating life. Creative communication and compassion have a transformative power which we want to bring to life as an interactive narrative experience. You will not only take your prototype home but also a deeper understanding of designing for personal impact. The workshop is open for 10-20 participants and lasts for 120 minutes (60 minute creation and ca. 60 minutes playtesting and reflecting after a short break).
  • 10.00 - 16.00
    Immersive Theatre
    host: Samee Haapa (FI)
    The workshop introduces theory and practice of immersive theatre in a nutshell. The workshop includes a short lecture about immersive theatre and practical work on a performance concept ‘The Sensory Cocktail Bar’. Work on the performance concept allows the participants of the workshop to be both makers and recipients of small immersive experiences.
    You don’t have to have any prior experience of immersive theatre to attend, but if you have, the workshop will also give you a particular point of view to it.
    For participants: Bring with you clothes you feel comfortable moving in. Bring materials related to senses, especially related to touch, smell and taste.


Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design

Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest (MOME) is one of the most significant European institutions of visual culture due to its traditions and intellectual background. In its effort to visualize its professional concepts MOME compounds its own character and traditions with the most up-to-date trends. Its educational structure comprises architecture, design, media, as well as theory. Therefore, MOME has a great international potential considering its broad field of education and synthesis of students. The three-cycle study structure (BA/MA/DLA) provides adequate flexibility and mobility for its students. MOME’s definite ambition is to further broaden its international relations. It welcomes every professional co-operation which inspires its educational and artistic work. MOME on the one hand is a university which educates professional designers, and on the other hand an intellectual workshop with the aim of setting up creative process in order to enhance design consciousness in Hungary.

The Innovation Center of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design is one of the largest design research & innovation hubs in CEE, which focuses on using art and design competencies to solve economic, social, and environmental challenges. The Innovation Center is committed to supporting the inventive use of design across five research fields:

  1. Data storytelling
  2. Social design
  3. Future materials
  4. Sustainable industry
  5. Immersion & interaction


The Association for Research in Digital Interactive Narratives, a community of academics and practitioners concerned with the advancement of all forms of interactive narrative – including narrative video games, interactive documentaries & video, journalistic interactives, artistic installations, XR (VR, AR, MR) pieces and further emerging forms.

Main organizer:

Ágnes Karolina BAKK (1986), researcher at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. She is the founder of the immersive storytelling conference and magazine Zip-Scene ( and; the cofounder of Random Error Studio, a lab that supports various VR productions; curator of Vektor VR. She was previously a research fellow at Sapientia – Hungarian University of Transylvania. She is teaching escape room design, immersive&VR- storytelling and speculative design and she is also a board member of the COST Action INDCOR. Bakk presented her research on immersive theatre, science of magic and VR at various conferences and platforms from Moscow (CILECT, 2019) to Montreal (SQUET, 2019). She was also a participant of 5th Wall Forum in 2020-2021.

Design by:

Katinka CSENGE


Zip-Scene Conference and Vektor VR section in Visegrad region and Western Balkans

The organizers of Zip-Scene Conference and Vektor VR-section 2022 are planning to organize a special section dedicated for professionals from the Visegrad region where the work and the research of cca. 40 international researchers and creators can be presented. Our goal is to organize the conference for the third time, and with this edition we propose to offer a special focus on our region. The conference and the VR-section will be a unique scientific and artistic event in Visegrad region, Central Eastern Europe and Western Balkans region. The event will bring together practitioners from Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina by offering them space to present their work in the frame of the conference and the VR-section. This way they can meet personally and exchange their practice, expertise and best practices especially related to how to fund their work. This is also a good opportunity for networking and starting new collaborations (as it happened at the previous edition as well). By presenting these works in one section we can prove that our region can "also be put on the map" of immersive storytelling and we can also generate more visibility for them. In order to enhance their visibility we are also conducting and publishing English interviews online (on with the invited guests. At the VR-focused event there will be a showcase of interactive works including productions by the artists who are delegated by the partner NGO's. This will be a unique event in the region: It is the only artistic/entertainment VR-focused event that has a scientific framework offered by the conference.


Funded by:

The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.

Funded by the Foundation for Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design.


Coordination partners:



Free for MOME students and staff