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Student Game Competition

Quick Facts

CHI 2023 is structured as a Hybrid-Onsite full conference from April 23–April 28 in Hamburg, Germany.

Important Dates

All times are in Anywhere on Earth (AoE) time zone. When the deadline is day D, the last time to submit is when D ends AoE. Check your local time in AoE.

  • Submission deadline (including video presentation of the game, video preview, paper submission, student status, and supervisor list): January 19, 2023
  • Notification: February 9, 2023
  • e-rights completion deadline: February 13, 2023
  • Initial upload to TAPS deadline: February 17, 2023
  • Publication-ready deadline: February 28, 2023

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 it being requested.

Submission Details

Selection Process


At the Conference

Accepted submissions (finalists) will showcase their games at the Student Game Competition Event in a short presentation, including a short discussion phase afterwards. Authors are free to choose the format of their presentation, though we encourage a live talk (either in-person or remote), possibly including elements of a live demo.

Additionally, we would urge authors to consider to prepare and host a playable version of the game at the conference during a scheduled demo/play session (likely during the interactivity session), or present an expressive video of their game that demonstrates how players will engage with it. For more details please refer to the Competition Structure section.

After the Conference

Accepted submissions will appear as Extended Abstract proceedings in the ACM Digital Library, along with other outcomes. For more details please refer to the Competition Structure section.

Message from the Student Game Competition Chairs

Hello and a warm welcome to the 10th 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 exemplar games that showcase emerging student talent and inspire future work.

What is the Student Game Competition at CHI 2023?

This year, we ask the students to submit their game to *one* of these two categories, which will be judged separately. Each category asks authors to address different points in their abstract:

  • 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. Games submitted to this category must include a section labeled “Interface Innovation” that clearly addresses what is novel about the game and positions it with regard to prior work from the CHI community (e.g., CHI, CHI PLAY, DIS, IMX, MM), and others. Submissions to Innovative Interfaces without this section may be returned without review.
  • 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, 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, and critically reflect on challenges. Games submitted to this category must include a section labeled “Critical Reflection” that describes what challenges the game addresses and considers both the potential to help and/or harm a particular population. Submissions to the Transformative & Transgressive Play category without this section may be returned without review.

IMPORTANT NOTE: 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 presenting a complete game (e.g., technology is not yet there, need for massive resources or investment), research aims, and envisioned impact in their paper submission. Speculative submissions have to be supplemented with a Wizard of Oz demonstration of gameplay.

Student Team Requirements

Teams must consist of at least two and no more than five students. There is no limit to the number of teams that may compete from any given university or organization. However, one student cannot be part of multiple teams.

Submissions are invited from students at all stages of their university careers, from undergraduate to postgraduate level. Proof will be required from all students about their student status. Please refer to the next section about the requirements.

Preparing and Submitting your Student Game Competition Submission

Student Game Competition submissions must be submitted via the PCS submission system by January 19th, 2023. The submission must have the following four components, and meet the accessibility requirements at CHI. If you have any questions or concerns about creating accessible submissions, please contact the Accessibility Chairs at accessibility@chi2023.acm.org.

  • Video Presentation 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 can 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). Some guidelines for creating video submissions can be found at: Technical Requirements and Guidelines for Videos at CHI
  • Video Preview that gives an overview of the game (suggested length: 1 minute, 2 minutes maximum). In contrast to the demonstration video above, this video should follow a teaser-style, where the motivation for the game takes prominence, reflective of the category — Innovative Interface or Transformative & Transgressive Play.
  • Paper submission: Students should submit a non-anonymized paper (up to 8 pages, including references) written in the ACM Master Article Submission Templates (single column). 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.
    • Depending on category, either a section on Interface Innovation or Critical Reflection, as described above.
    • Acknowledgement of any assistance drawn from outside the student team (e.g., advisors, domain experts, existing solutions, users)
  • Proof Package of Student Status: Submit a single file confirming the status of all students on the team.
    • For each student, proof of student status must be a note signed by your academic supervisor verifying all of the following information:
      • Your university
      • Whether you were a graduate (i.e., Masters or Doctoral level) or undergraduate (i.e., Bachelor level) student when the work was done or confirm that you are either currently registered in an academic program full-time or will return to be a student in the upcoming semester
      • List of supervisors/advisors with affiliation, if relevant
    • Transcripts or scanned IDs will not be accepted as proof.

The Competition Structure

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

Stage One: Submission and Review

Students will submit their game to the competition. Expert reviewers will evaluate these submissions. Based on the expert reviews, the Student Game Competition chairs will select the finalists for each of the categories to attend the CHI conference. Student Game Competition authors will be notified of acceptance or rejection by email.

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 in the competition. Larger teams will be expected to produce more ambitious submissions. There is also no limit to the number of teams that may compete from any given university or organization. However, one student cannot be part of multiple teams.

Authors are strongly encouraged to work on improving the accessibility of their Paper submissions, using recommendations found in the Guide to an Accessible Submission. If you have any questions or concerns about creating accessible submissions, please contact the Accessibility Chairs at accessibility@chi2023.acm.org.

Stage Two: Presentation at the Conference

Each finalist will be required to send at least one member to attend the conference to present the work, and to take part in the final round and award ceremony. The session will be open to all CHI attendees. During this final round, students will have the opportunity to give a short presentation of their game (5 minutes) followed by a question and answer period (5 minutes), which will be evaluated by a panel of judges.

The format of the final presentations is left upon the students, although we encourage giving a live talk (either in-person or remote) and a live demo of the game. Additionally, we would urge authors to consider to prepare and host a playable version of the game at the conference during a scheduled demo/play session (likely during the interactivity session), or present an expressive video of their game that demonstrates how players will engage with it. Note that we encourage students to make their games as accessible to a wide range of players as possible. This website might help to make decisions on how to improve accessibility.

Due to the hybrid nature of the conference, allowances will be made for authors who cannot attend in person and for presenting the work online for remote attendees. Such allowances will be necessarily bespoke (e.g., deploying the game at the conference without the authors present, a video demo, a remote presentation) and subject to available resources. While every attempt at fairness will be made, the hybrid nature of the conference will naturally make it challenging to compare finalists (e.g., a browser game will be easier to offer a comparable experience to any participant, while a location-specific installation will be challenging to present in any case). The organizers will do their best to create an inclusive and engaging experience for all participants.

All finalists earn a Certificate of Recognition. The winning entry in each of the two categories will be recognized and announced at the closing plenary session of the CHI 2023 conference. In addition, all teams will be mentioned on the conference website.

Student Game Competition Selection Criteria

The Student Game Competition is a reviewed track for CHI 2023. 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 will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Highest weight:
    • Reflection on the selected category: innovation and critical reflection on the chosen category
    • Quality and originality of gameplay
  • Medium weight:
    • Quality of the research topic and its argumentation: how interesting the topic is, and how well the research questions/objectives are motivated
    • Game design research process: how well design decisions are justified
    • Empirical evidence: potential evaluation with players, and/or other evidence that the game design affords the intended experience and/or conveys the intended message
    • Effective integration between research topic and game design: how well the research objectives are translated into an effective game design
  • Lowest weight:
    • Polish, feel, aesthetics: How polished the game looks, and whether care has been put into creating unique, interesting, or pleasurable aesthetics and how the paper describes game feel considerations
    • Quality of the gameplay video: how well it illustrates gameplay
    • Quality of the trailer video: how well it raises interest to play the game, and how well it communicates a connection to the selected category

In selecting the winner of each category, the final presentation at the conference will have higher weight, but the quality of the original submission, as per the criteria above, will still be considered. The final presentation is judged based on the following criteria:

  • Clarity and organization of the oral presentation
  • Relevance and clarity of presentation material (e.g., demo, video, slides)
  • Quality of arguments used to justify why the presented game is worthy of consideration
  • Overall creativity and appeal of the final presentation

Upon Acceptance of your Submission

The corresponding author of a conditionally accepted submission has to follow the instructions on preparing and submitting a final version by the Publication-Ready Deadline. If the authors cannot meet these requirements by the Publication-Ready deadline, the venue chairs will be notified and may be required to remove the paper from the program. The publication-ready version has to follow the LaTeX and Word templates from ACM. Should you need technical assistance, please direct your technical query to: publications@chi2023.acm.org. Furthermore, the corresponding authors will also receive information about registration and attending the conference.


Participants are encouraged to apply to the SIGCHI’s Gary Marsden Travel Awards. More information can be found here.

Frequently asked questions

Can I submit to the Student Game Competition in parallel with other tracks (e.g., Late-breaking work)?
Authors must choose only one track and submit their submissions to a single track. Any concurrent submissions must be declared and should follow ACM policies on Redundant Publication or Self-Plagiarism. Any duplicate submissions across tracks will be rejected.