CAMeRA

 

 

What is CAMeRA?

CAMeRA provides an environment for the study and the development of media applications, with the focus on their impact on people's physical and mental wellbeing. CAMeRA recognizes its mission in both fundamental research and applied projects to be socially responsible in nature.

 

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CAMeRA’s focus is on the future.

Hardly ever before has society experienced such a radical and disruptive period of change as we see today; the challenges and conditions of our day-to-day lives have become extremely fast paced, seemingly endless and impacting almost every aspect of our social interactions. The development of new electronic media appears to be one major source of innovation in this so-called information age as people spend more time than ever before with such new electronic devices and applications, both at work and in their leisure time. New media and technology have begun to significantly modify our ways to communicate and to interact, to learn and to entertain. But they also have had a different impact on various people, groups, and societies. While some have managed to leverage such new developments and to use them to their full advantage, others haven fallen behind and became further disenfranchised. What this means for our way of life, particularly for the quality of life and for individuals’ wellbeing is all but clear.

 

The Center for Advanced Media Research Amsterdam wants to study the impact [particularly new] media and technology have on individuals’ life, that is, on their thinking, feeling, and behavior, on their communication and interaction, their learning and entertainment, and on their health. In short, CAMeRA will deal with the question of how [new] media and technology can and will impact people’s wellbeing. The consideration of wellbeing includes aspects of physiological as well as psychological wellbeing and it covers dimensions of what philosophers have called a “good life” (including access to and opportunities for life-long learning, education, entertainment, social connectedness) as much as considering risk factors such as age, lack of education, alienation, physical or mental handicaps and the like, all of which may and often do compromise people’s wellbeing. In fact, new media and technology can simultaneously pose a threat to individuals’ wellbeing while providing the potential for necessary means and ways to overcome compromises and limitations. As life is already embedded with new technology and will increasingly be so in the future, CAMeRA’s intention is to recognize and utilize this fact for the improvement of people’s wellbeing by identifying the risks as much as the chances of new media, to ultimately overcome disadvantages and obstacles and to achieve a better life in the future.

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To do so, CAMeRA will focus on those specific research topics that seem to be most relevant and pressing from both societal and individual points of view, where systematic knowledge is needed most urgently, and where the VU University Amsterdam already has a certain level of expertise despite being located at various units around campus without much interconnection with each other.
That is, CAMeRA will study individuals’:

 

bulletLearning and Entertainment

bulletLanguage Use and Multi-Modal Communication

bulletEmotion Regulation

bulletHealth

bulletSocial Interaction and

bulletPsychological Wellbeing

as supported or affected by new media and technology, such as

 

bullet(Serious) Digital Games

bulletMultimedia (e.g., Advanced Visualization)

bulletVirtual Reality

bulletIntelligent Bots and Agents

bulletMobile and Static Interactive Systems

 

The aim of CAMeRA is to study mechanisms and effects of such media to improve communication processes, but also to further develop communication theory and methodology as well as the design of new technology.