After a general presentation on behalf of the organizers and participants’ introductions, the full-day workshop is set up in three main parts and is scheduled as follows:
Part 1: Exploring game elements
Part 2: Prototyping HCI games
Part 3: Discussing HCI games
This full-day workshop has a creative, generative character. It refrains from using a standard workshop setup of presentations and discussions. Instead, sharing best practices, brainstorms and applying game design elements are at the core of all activities. Each of the workshop’s main parts is explained in detail below:
Part 1. Exploring game elements
After a brief presentation discussing the workshop goals and a round of participants’ introductions, the workshop starts with familiarizing participants with existing game design elements (i.e. content, fiction & narrative, mechanics, aesthetics & graphics and framing ). In small teams (see above), participants are presented with an overview of game elements in the form of a quiz. Teams will compete in guessing which game design elements are described by the workshop organizers. The teams will also be asked to think of concrete examples of the elements. This quiz will be organized in such a manner that all game design elements in the overview are discussed, also when none of the teams is able to guess the correct answer.
After the quiz, still in the small teams, participants will briefly discuss their position papers amongst each other. In doing this, participants are encouraged to relate to the first part of the workshop by explaining which of the game design elements from the quiz they have touched upon in their papers. Also, they will discuss which of the elements that were unknown to them before the workshop seem interesting.
To finalize the first part of the workshop, the small teams will report the game elements they discussed and consider to be important to the whole group. The organizers will take notes by creating an overview of the game design elements discussed by all teams.
Part 2. Prototyping HCI games
After the lunch break, participants will create a prototype of a game-based method or tool that can be used in HCI research, hereafter referred to as ‘HCI game’ (this can be a complete game but also game elements that can be included in HCI methods). To this end, the participants are divided into new teams that will each focus on a common research phase in HCI research (e.g. analysis, ideation, conceptualization, design, evaluation). Within these teams, the participants first agree on a project and a research question which they wish to use as a starting point for creating an HCI game. This could be an existing research project of one of the group members or a new project idea or research question. If the group members have strongly differing ideas on the project and research question to create an HCI game for, teams are allowed to split up into smaller teams. The organizers will provide basic scrap material (paper, pens, markers, tape, scissors, …) for the creation of the HCI game prototypes. An overview of the game design elements as presented in the first part of the workshop will be available for the participants while creating the HCI game.
Part three: Discussing HCI games
In the third and final part of the workshop members of all teams will present the HCI games (or HCI game elements) created in part two. They will explain (amongst others) the game design elements that were used, the difficulties encountered during the creation of the HCI game, and the added value of the HCI game compared to more traditional HCI research methods.
The workshop organizers will add the game design elements that have been used to the overview they started to create in part one. After all games have been presented, the workshop will be wrapped-up with a plenary discussion on the use of game design elements in HCI research. The participants will go over the elements that have not been used in the HCI game prototypes and discuss the reasons why these were not used (Was this a coincidence or are these elements really less valuable for HCI research?). The elements that were used in the prototypes will also be discussed (What is the expected effect of the game elements on research procedures and outcomes? How will those elements affect the social dynamics during research? How will the social interactions between research subjects affect the game dynamics?). In this last part of the workshop, the organizers aim to obtain a first overview of the potential use of specific game design elements for HCI research purposes.