Project Details

Games User Research

Games User Research (GUR) is a burgeoning field building upon evaluation methods from Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and psychology. GUR aims to improve the gameplay experience by conducting usability and user experience (UX) evaluation often referred to as playtesting. Playtesting can be conducted by third parties or by an internal team as part of the same development studio. The HCI Games Group has been one of the leading researchers in this promissing new field in the recent years, having helped define and advance the field. More recently, the HCI Games Group with the INTEGUR Lab at UOIT are collaborating with Execution Labs (XL) to assist independant gaming studios with their playtesting needs. Not all independent developers could afford to hire a full-time internal user research team for their project or pay for third party consultancy fees. The challenge for small studios is to utilize the benefits of GUR while maintaining a strict budget, avoiding unneeded costs, resources, and tools. For this, an effective testing method at the lowest possible cost will need to be investigated. With this goal in mind, an effective user testing approach for indie studios should be delivered in a timely, accessible and, economical fashion. Thus the collaboration with XL to explore effective playtesting methods and tools specifically targeted at improving independent sized games.



Lennart Nacke
Director of the HCI Games Group


Gustavo Fortes Tondello
Ph.D. Student in Personalized Health Gamification
Marim Ganaba
Master's Student
Pejman Mirza-Babaei
Affiliated Faculty
Naeem Moosajee
Master's Student in Games User Research, Digital Wizard
James Robb
Master’s Student, Player Experience
Jose Rodriguez
Master's Student
Mike Schäkermann
Master's Student
Melissa Stocco
Undergraduate Student
Rina Wehbe
Ph.D. Student, EEG Analysis of Gameplay Comprehension
Giovanni Ribeiro
Master's Student


Year 2017

Applying Gameful Design Heuristics

Gustavo F. Tondello and Lennart E. Nacke. 2017. Applying Gameful Design Heuristics. In Proceeding of the 2017 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI 2017. Denver, CO, USA. ACM, 1209-1212. doi:10.1145/3027063.3027116

Year 2016

The Gamification User Types Hexad Scale

Gustavo F. Tondello, Rina R. Wehbe, Lisa Diamond, Marc Busch, Andrzej Marczewski, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2016. The Gamification User Types Hexad Scale. In Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play - CHI PLAY '16. Austin, TX, USA. ACM. doi:10.1145/2967934.2968082

Year 2015

Games User Research and Physiological Game Evaluation

Lennart E. Nacke. 2015. Games User Research and Physiological Game Evaluation. In Regina Bernhaupt. Eds. Game User Experience Evaluation. Springer International Publishing, 63-86. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-15985-0_4

Year 2014

BrainHex: A Neurobiological Gamer Typology Survey

Lennart E. Nacke, Chris Bateman, and Regan L. Mandryk. 2014. BrainHex: A Neurobiological Gamer Typology Survey. In Entertainment Computing 5, 1: 55-62. Elsevier. doi:10.1016/j.entcom.2013.06.002