Home » For Authors » Student Game Competition

Recent Updates

Past Deadlines

> August 1st, 2019

SIGCHI Student Travel Grant

> September 13th, 2019

Papers: Title, abstract, authors, subcommittee choice, and all other metadata

> September 20th, 2019

Papers: Submission files

> October 16th, 2019

Case Studies, Courses, Doctoral Consortium, Workshops/Symposia

> November 15th, 2019

Gary Marsden Student Development Fund

> December 18th, 2019

Special Interest Groups, Panels

> January 6th, 2020

Alt.CHI, Interactivity/Demos, Late-Breaking WorksStudent Game Competition, Student Research Competition

> February 15th, 2020

Gary Marsden Student Development Fund

Student Game Competition

For 2020, the Student Game Competition is replacing the Student Design Competition.

Quick Facts

Important Dates:

Please note that upon acceptance authors will be required to complete the ACM rights form, fill in the copyright information in their document, and submit their final version within 48 hours of its being requested.

Submission Details:

Selection process: Juried

Chairs: Rohit Ashok Khot and Elisa Mekler (studentgame@chi2020.acm.org)

At the conference: Finalists (top five in each category) will present their games at the Student Game Competition Event. Each finalist will also aim to prepare and host a playable version of the game at the conference during a scheduled demo/play session.

After the conference: accepted submissions will appear in the Extended Abstracts proceedings in the ACM Digital Library.

Message from the Student Game Competition Chairs

Hello and a warm welcome to the seventh year of the Student Game Competition within CHI, how exciting! The competition is aimed at providing an opportunity for students from a variety of backgrounds (HCI, computer science, game design, fine arts, …) to participate in CHI and demonstrate their game design and development skills in an international competition. Furthermore, the competition provides CHI attendees with engaging and playable exemplar games that showcase emerging student talent and inspire future work.

This year, we ask the students to submit their game to *one* of these two categories, which will be judged separately by a qualified jury:

  • Innovative Interfaces: Games submitted to this category should be games that push the boundaries of current games and game interface practice. Example areas include the use of gesture, multi-touch, multi-screen or haptics; voice input; use of sensors such as breathing or heart rate; augmented reality games, mixed reality games, novel use of game AI and machine learning techniques, or explore novel, thought-provoking forms of interaction. Think Nintendo Labo, Think Pokemon Go!, Think food play.
  • Transformative & Transgressive Play: This category attends to the expanding boundaries of play and game design with the emergence of independent games, art games, and political games as well as gamified/playbourised systems that explore the role of play in non-gaming settings. For example, games now play an increasingly important role in areas like education, healthcare, safety, urban planning, sustainability, creative industries, entertainment, and other economic, cultural, and societal sectors. Games submitted to this category should draw on these expanding boundaries of game design to create innovative gameplay for non-gaming settings.

IMPORTANT CHANGE THIS YEAR: It is not mandatory to have a completely playable game in order to participate in this competition. We are also encouraging innovative ideas, speculative/provocative game designs and early prototypes of the game if authors could demonstrate why their game/idea is innovative and how it could advance the current state-of-the-art. Students submitting speculative and early prototypes should, however, explain the rationale behind their game design with clear positioning within the literature, reasons for not doing a complete game (e.g., technology is not yet there, need for massive resources or investment), research aims, and envisioned impact in the Extended Abstract document and supplement them with Wizard of Oz demonstration of the gameplay.   

The Student Game Competition follows a two-stage juried process:

  1. Students will submit their game to the competition. Expert reviewers will evaluate these submissions and 5 finalists for each of the categories will be selected to attend the CHI conference.
  2. Each finalist will be required to send at least one member to attend the conference to demonstrate the game and to take part in the final round and award ceremony.

All finalists earn a Certificate of Recognition. The winning entry in each of the two categories will be recognized and announced at the Student Game Competition Event as well as mentioned at the closing plenary session of the CHI conference.

Rohit Ashok Khot, Exertion Games Lab, RMIT University, Australia

Elisa Mekler, University of Basel, Switzerland

CHI 2020 Student Game Competition Co-Chairs


Preparing and Submitting your Student Game Competition Submission

The submission must include:

  • A demonstration of the game: This should take the form of a 4-minute maximum gameplay video clearly showing both the screen (if present) and the player interacting with the game. If the game is not yet fully complete, students could also submit a Wizard of Oz implementation of the game with justification on why the game is incomplete (e.g., technology is not yet there, needs massive resources).
  • A link to a brief video ‘trailer’ that gives an overview of the game (2 minutes maximum).
  • Extended abstract: Student should submit a non-anonymized paper (up to 6 pages) written in the Extended Abstracts Format. This paper should include:
    • An overview of the game itself, and the design and development process, with possibly screenshots/images of play.
    • The positioning of the game in terms of related work, including references and outlining the game’s unique contribution.
  • Proof of student status: To be eligible for the student competition, all participants must provide either
    • A) a signed letter from their academic supervisor confirming that at least 50% of their working week is spent following an academic course of study and that they were not employed within games-related industries when working on the team’s submission
    • B) proof of registration/enrollment in a 2019 semester.

Each team must provide one proof package – a single file containing a scanned proof document for each team member – together with their project submission.

All submissions must be in English and must include title and author information, including author affiliations. Please be sure that submissions do not contain proprietary or confidential material and do not cite proprietary or confidential publications. All rejected submissions will be kept confidential in perpetuity. All submitted materials for accepted submissions will be kept confidential until the start of the conference, with the exception of title and author information which will be published on the website prior to the conference. Due to tight publication schedules, revisions will not be possible. The submitted PDF version will be considered the final version of the paper.

There is no strict limit on team size, but team size will be taken into consideration when judging and larger teams will be expected to produce more ambitious submissions. There is no limit to the number of teams that may compete from any given university. Submissions are invited from all students at all stages of their university careers, from undergraduate to postgraduate. While not a mandatory requirement, it is strongly encouraged that the teams leverage multi-disciplinarity and diversities of all kinds.

Student Game Competition Selection Process

The Student Game Competition is a juried track for CHI 2020. Each game will be reviewed by both academic and professional experts in game design and development, with emphasis on expertise in the entry categories.

Finalists and award winners will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Quality and originality of gameplay itself (determined through gameplay).
  • Positioning and articulation of the game’s contribution to the submission category domain (determined through Extended Abstract).

At the Conference

Five finalist submissions for each of the categories will be invited to CHI 2020 to present their games.

Students should be prepared to bring along a playable demo of the game and all necessary hardware for an interactivity session (consider this during submission). At the Student Game Competition Event, each finalist will give a brief (5 minutes) presentation about their game. Category winners will be announced during the event.

After the Conference

Accepted Student Games Competition Extended Abstracts will be distributed in the CHI Conference Extended Abstracts, available in the ACM Digital Library.