HCI and Board Games

Our group meeting this week focused on “HCI and Board Games”.  We began with a discussion of previous papers from the CHI conference that have focused on board games, including studies of playing games, studies that have used games to generate requirements and data, and studies that have used games for critical reflection. The papers we discussed included:

  • Melissa J. Rogerson, Martin Gibbs, and Wally Smith. 2016. “I Love All the Bits”: The Materiality of Boardgames. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’16). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 3956–3969. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/2858036.2858433
  • Mark Blythe, Jamie Steane, Jenny Roe, and Caroline Oliver. 2015. Solutionism, the Game: Design Fictions for Positive Aging. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 3849–3858. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702491
  • Karin Slegers, Sanne Ruelens, Jorick Vissers, and Pieter Duysburgh. 2015. Using Game Principles in UX Research: A Board Game for Eliciting Future User Needs. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1225–1228. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702166

Next we played and discussed a game developed by PhD student Simran Chopra and her collaborators for use in a research project on food futures. They discuss the design and use of the game in this paper:

  • Sara Heitlinger, Rachel Clarke, Adrian K. Clear, Simran Chopra, and Özge Dilaver. 2019. Co-Creating “Smart” Sustainable Food Futures with Urban Food Growers. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Communities & Technologies – Transforming Communities (C&T ’19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 114–120. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3328320.3328399
Board game
Game from “Co-Creating “Smart” Sustainable Food Futures with Urban Food Growers” by Heitlinger et al.

We also reconstructed and played the game “Transcendhance” from Elizabeth Buie’s paper (and thesis) on spirituality and design.

  • Elizabeth Buie. 2016. Transcendhance: A Game to Facilitate Techno-Spiritual Design. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’16). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1367–1374. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/2851581.2892536
Board game
Reconstruction of “Transcendhance” from Buie et al.

Another reconstruction (thanks to the hard work of Carlos Alvarez)  was of a UX design card exercise on designing for the sharing economy. We drew on this for discussing the boundaries between games and other, similar methods used in design.

  • Anton Fedosov, Masako Kitazaki, William Odom, and Marc Langheinrich. 2019. Sharing Economy Design Cards. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Paper 145, 1–14. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3290605.3300375
Design cards
Reconstruction of “Sharing Economy Design Cards” from Fedosov et al.

Our discussion covered the role of board games in HCI, what makes something a game, key differences between games for research and ‘ordinary’ games, and experiences of game play.

Whiteboard with mind map
Discussion of board games and HCI