Theme 1: Methods and Tools for Games User Research
This theme is the core of my research program, where I am developing mixed methods that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. This is an important contribution in an applied GUR setting, improving qualitative evaluation of player experience by developing quick, cost-effective, and easy-to-understand methods that integrate quantitative and qualitative data. The outcomes of this research have a direct impact on the inclusion of user research in the game development process and its return of investment.
Theme 2: Design and Evaluation Guidelines for Novel Interaction Modalities
Naturally following on the previous theme, this focuses on creating guidelines to support game developers to design and evaluate their game interaction in from the cognitive aspects of performing in-game actions to the physical execution and technical implementation of the interaction. A complete analysis of the entire interaction requires consideration of its components at an atomic design level. Once the interaction is fully understood, it is then possible to begin identifying effective alternative modalities. Given the increased availability of novel interfaces, both from a hardware perspective (such as Microsoft Kinect or Oculus Virtual Reality headset) and a software/app perspective (such as the ability for audience to interact with a game through streaming platforms), this research theme makes important contributions to HCI. Particularly in creating design and evaluation guidelines for novel interaction modalities.
Theme 3: Development for Behavioural Change and Rehabilitation Systems
This theme focuses on the potential of emerging technologies that support game design to enhance social engagement, behavioural change, and rehabilitation. This is a new addition to my research program, motivated by the idea that video games can have significant impacts on our lives beyond entertainment.