Stratford Researcher Receives $165,000 in Mitacs Accelerate Grants to Improve Accessibility and Business Outcomes Using Gameful Design

Monday, November 16, 2020

Lennart Nacke lecturing on game designLennart Nacke has partnered with Alpha Labs, Wiggles 3D, and MLD Solutions to help these companies tackle challenging problems they are facing. Mitacs Accelerate grants support collaborative research between faculty at academic institutions, non-academic partners, and research interns.

Nacke will engage in a range of research projects, including using gameful design principles to improve user experience and accessibility of online medical test data and bite-sized information consumption to study the impact of cultural and economic factors on tabletop games.

Nacke believes that many test comparison metrics in medical test data are not easy to understand and are even harder to integrate into the existing routines of doctors, nurse practitioners, and lab orderers (i.e., clinicians). If clinicians could alter their testing strategies based on these metrics, it would save the healthcare sector and faster results for patients. That’s why it is an important research area for Alpha Labs.

The Impact of Cultural and Economic Factors on Play and Purchase Decisions for Tabletop Games

Much of game research has focused on a user group’s life stage or the occasion at which a game is played, while lacking attention to cultural aspects, such as players’ ethnicity or the cultural context of their lifestyles. This lack of understanding of the impact of cultural differences on attitudes, behaviours, and habits that emerge in tabletop gameplay marks a significant research problem. In order to create more inclusive and relevant games, it is key to understand cultural differences. In an era where equality and respect remain more difficult to achieve than ever, board and tabletop games can be a medium that allows racial-ethnic diversity and cultural expression.

Another research area is understanding how gameful design can be used for bite-sized information creation and consumption. This marks a significant research problem, as not many measures or methods exist to assess such gameful applications' effectiveness in bite-sized information consumption. We aim to identify gameful design elements that would work in the Mozaik.Global framework, and learn how these gameful design elements motivate users to consume or create non-game digital content and track interaction data to evaluate the effectiveness of gameful design strategies.

Nacke has extensive expertise in games and user research, and we look forward to the new insights this research will achieve.