Fun and Games 2012 was an international conference held in Toulouse (France). The conference was attended by Ellie Martin, and this is her write-up.

The Fun and Games conference was a 2-day conference proceeded by 3 (concurrent) 1-day workshops. I sat in on the workshop run by Peta Wyeth and Daniel Johnson on conceptualising, operationalising and measuring the player experience in videogames on the first day. There was much discussion about what affects the player experience, why we wanted to know and how we could measure it. Much of the discussion centred around identifying the differences in a play experience over (for example) interacting with a productivity tool, and where the methods traditionally used in HCI were not quite sufficient to measure this subtly different experience.

The conference-proper started the following day, with full and short papers on a range of topics from novel input devices, new survey instruments etc. The posters were presented in the afternoon along with the demos (both Pejman and I had work-in-progress posters accepted, but sadly Pejman was unable to attend).

There was a lot of interest in the posters, and plenty of opportunities to discuss ideas with the other attendees over coffee throughout the 2 days. The student game competition provided some light relief with some fun physical games (including one that involved hugging – exploring social awkwardness – that was fun to watch but too socially awkward for this Brit!). The prize for the student games was won by Bubble Popper – a multi-player physical exertion game – although the audience vote went to the hugging game (or Musical Embrace, to give it its proper name).

The location for the 2014 conference was announced as Toronto at the end of the conference. I’m looking forward to it!

(I am planning to put more detailed posts on my blog – I will add links to these in the comments below for anyone who is interested.)