David Gundry

PhD Research

Human Subject Data-Collection Games

Applied games are games that are used for some purpose in addition to entertainment. The entertainment is there to hook players in, and get them to spend time doing a task that is helpful to society like processing data or sharing knowledge.

Science needs data, and when we want to do science on humans themselves, we need ordinary people to provide lots of data. Traditionally you pay people to participate. What if we could make a game that motivates and stuctures participation?

Unfortunately, validity (trustworthy data) and entertainment are not easy bedfellows. Each wants to undermine the other. You need to design always with both in mind and then make a game from the narrow intersection.

Intrinsic Elicitation

I have developed a design approach from my experience with this design challenge. It's called Intrinsic Elicitaiton. At its heart, Intrinsic Elicitation asks what game mechanics provide, or encode, the target data. For example, playing a carnival high striker, or strongman game, encodes information about a player's upper body strength. The rest of the game is set up to motivate correct use of this mechanic: hit as hard as you can for the best chance to win!

Want to know more?

Do you want to do something with your game — like collect data, change behaviours or educate — but struggling to balance application and entertainment? Drop me an email at deg500@york.ac.uk