Research Topic

Games and Play in HCI

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About this Research Topic

Games and playful interactive systems are pervasive in our daily lives, with figures suggesting that over a billion people worldwide regularly play games on computers, consoles, or mobile devices. Games have been a driver and a testbed for new technology (e.g., Virtual and Augmented Reality), and they push ...

Games and playful interactive systems are pervasive in our daily lives, with figures suggesting that over a billion people worldwide regularly play games on computers, consoles, or mobile devices. Games have been a driver and a testbed for new technology (e.g., Virtual and Augmented Reality), and they push the frontier of new forms to use technology and new media (e.g., virtual guilds, eSports and streaming).
Therefore, The Human-Computer Interaction research community has long been interested in in the design, development, and evaluation of games and playful systems. There has been a focus on understanding people’s motivations to play games, examining how games can be adapted to player preferences and needs to provide engaging experiences, and how the motivational pull of games can be leveraged in non-entertainment settings., e.g., through gamification or in the context of serious games.

In this Frontiers in Computer Science Research Topic, we focus on games research from the perspective of Human-Computer Interaction. We welcome work from all disciplines with a focus on how users interact with playful computing systems, including areas of interest such as:

- Explorations of the design and development of games and playful systems,
- Development of tools that facilitate the design, development and study of games,
- Studies investigating the psychological aspects of player-computer interaction, e.g., player experience, but also work that seeks to understand players and their behaviour, e.g., games user research and game analytics,
- Research developing new interaction techniques for games, or examining the integration of technologies for games and play, e.g., Virtual Reality,
- Projects exploring social gaming experiences including online gaming communities and streaming, and professional gaming,
- Work that addresses specific target audiences, for example, research exploring accessibility and diversity in the context of games and play.

We would like to emphasize that we invite technical and experimental work alike; in terms of research studies, we welcome submissions focusing on qualitative and quantitative aspects of the study of games. For all submissions, the most important aspect is a strong focus on furthering our understanding of human-player interaction.


Keywords: Games, game design, game technology, play, human-computer interaction, player-computer interaction, player experience, games research


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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