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Professor Nacke teaches User Experience, Human-Computer Interaction, and Game Design at the University of Waterloo.
As part of the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business, the Department of Communication Arts, and the Games Institute, he is researching player experience in video games, immersive VR environments, and gameful applications. As a truly interdisciplinary researcher, he is cross-appointed and supervises graduate students in the Department of Systems Design Engineering, the Department of English Language and Literature, and the Cheriton School of Computer Science. Together with co-researchers, he published the PXI — player experience inventory, gamification user types hexad scale, guidelines for biofeedback and sound design in games, and a book on games user research. Professor Nacke has served on the steering committee of the International Game Developers Association Games Research & User Experience Special Interest Group in the past, was the chair of the CHI PLAY conference steering committee from 2014–2018. His publications have won Best Paper Awards at the CHI, CSCW, and CHI PLAY conferences. He has published more than 100 scientific papers, which have been cited more than 10,000 times. He strongly believes in understanding users first to build more engaging games and compelling player experiences.
Current Research Areas:
Gamification: Involves the use of game design principles in systems that primarily support non-game tasks, with the goal of increasing fun, engagement and motivation. Dr. Nacke has been involved in the definition of the term and leading the academic movement in workshop and conference settings.
Games user research: Developing new methods and tools for improving player testing and user research in games and entertainment systems.
Games for human health and fitness: Making sports, physiological exercise, and health applications more playful has become one of Dr. Nacke's recent research focus areas, especially in light of the recent increase in sensor use and the quantified self movement. As part of this, he has investigated how to foster healthy habits, such as sticking to a fitness routines and engaging older adults with technology. His students have developed their own apps and his research team has worked with companies such as Ayogo Health, Inc. in Vancouver, British Columbia, to analyze social health games on Facebook. A recent Engage grant with Vintage Fitness in Toronto supported a project to develop a gamified online fitness service to keep older adults fit and healthy.
HCI for games: Finding novel sensors and interaction paradigms that drive the manner in which we interact with computers in a meaningful
and engaging way.
Affective gaming: Research using psychophysiological analysis and physiological sensors to track player sentiments when gauging engagement, cognition and player emotions.
Social relationship-building games: Developing games and installations that can be used in public spaces to build relationships and foster social interaction in groups.
Dr. Nacke is cross-appointed with the Cheriton School of Computer Science, the Department of English Language and Literature, the Department of Management Sciences and the Department of Systems Design Engineering. For more information, please see Dr. Nacke's research profile, his research group website, and publication links.