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Lynn Cherny <[log in to unmask]>
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Lynn Cherny <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 3 Jan 1997 17:37:07 -0500
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CHI '97 One and a Half Day Workshop:


March 22-23, 1997, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

ORGANIZERS: Chuck Clanton (Aratar, Inc.)
            Lynn Cherny (AT&T Labs--Research)
            Erik Ostrom (AT&T Labs--Research and Northeastern U.)

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people spend money from their own
discretionary entertainment budgets just for the opportunity to
experience the user interfaces of software applications sold as games.
Much of this experience involves difficult problem solving as well as
tactical and strategic reasoning and performance, that often exceeds the
demands of typical tasks at work.  Yet, games are fun and work often is
not.  Why?

Games are fun because game designers make them fun.  The CHI
community and the game design community make little contact yet
they have complimentary approaches to similar problems.  This
workshop brings these communities together to talk about the
design of fun.

Each applicant should submit no more than 600 words outlining their
interests, ideas, and experience.  Electronic submission to
[log in to unmask] is preferred.  Please include the following:

* Your experience playing, evaluating, or designing engaging software.

* Your list of important issues to discuss and why they are important to you.

* Describe an example of a design process that incorporates
        game principles or a difficult game interface problem
        you've tackled; or give a position statement on some topic
        related to game or engagement design.

* An example of a problematic or interesting interface concept
        in an existing game you would like to demonstrate and why.
        (Note we may not be able to demo all examples).

We do not expect formal papers since neither academics nor game designers
have had incentive to write them.  We do seek diversity of experience and
perspective.  The workshop will be small to insure lively interaction
among all participants.  Final topics will depend on submissions.
Possibilities include:

* Dissecting fun.  What is fun?  How is it designed?  What productivity
  applications should be fun and how?  What is known about age and gender

* Design process.  How does playtesting of games compare to user centered
  iterative design?  How can "fun" be measured empirically?  How is fun

* Agency in games.  How might non-player character (NPC) "AI" in games and
  agency in productivity applications inform each other?  What are the
  characteristics of NPCs as friends and foes in games?  How do players
  control teams in games?

* User interface vs. application mechanics vs. gameplay.   How do
  games quickly teach the existence and use of their controls without
  standards?  How do game players learn the "cartoon physics" of each
  game's unique world? How does story create rewarding gameplay?

* Learnability. Why do some games have easy learning ramps and others
  avoid them? How come the most successful games create a new genre
  of play, while the most successful productivity applications
  build on existing standards?

Submission DEADLINE: February 7, 1997.

For more information contact:
Erik Ostrom, AT&T Labs--Research, 600 Mountain Avenue, Murray Hill, NJ
07974, USA.  Phone: +1 908 582 7168.  E-mail: [log in to unmask]