Call for Submissions

Submission Process

Complete the submission form here! We recommend reading through the Submission Requirements & Tips section before submitting.

The current call for submissions is only for the talks at the Summit (May 14, 2020). Please note that due to seating restrictions at the Workshop venue, there will be separate application to speak at and/or attend the Advanced Researchers Workshop. Those interested in submitting to the Advanced Researchers Workshop on Friday should look out for a separate call for submissions in January. The application will go out shortly after acceptances to the Summit are sent.

If you are traveling to the Summit from outside Canada, you will need a passport to get into Canada.

Submission Deadline: November 4, 2019

Summit Theme

Our theme this year is RETROSPECTION!

For the 2020 #gamesUR Summit, we’re taking some bold steps forward. By looking back and reflecting on our community’s roots, we pay homage and acknowledge all that games user research, as an IGDA special interest group, peer community, and field, has achieved.

From humble beginnings in 2008 as a small gathering of researchers to becoming a highly organized annual event with over two hundred attendees the #gamesUR Summit has accomplished a great deal in it’s 10 year history. In planning this year’s event we want to acknowledge that a little retrospection on the last 10 years of our profession may serve to inspire our future. In doing so, our goal is to cover a breadth of advancement to our field’s overall research methods, tools, and impact on user experience and game design.

We encourage the submission of talks and panels that engage with the idea of honoring our beginnings while looking ahead to the future of games user research. While our submissions are open to any topic related to games user research and user experience design, priority will be given to insightful talks and panels that address the theme of retrospection and acknowledging the future. We want to hear from everyone in the field, whether you’re working on console, PC, mobile, in academia, or are just trying to get started and want to know more. Potential topics and questions in line with this theme to be addressed include (but are not limited to):

  • Case Studies: Practical examples of research conducted on actual games, or applied scholarly research, providing learnings, surprises, or retrospectives. Share informative tales of victory or failure about released games, and the process used to go from a concept to a finished, researched game.
  • General Research: What impact can we expect advancements in AI, accessibility, game design, platforms, or general research best practices to have on our field?
  • Recruiting: Methods for recruiting appropriate participants. For example, recruitment challenges and strategies in consideration of changing player demographics and behaviors.
  • Reporting: Techniques for reporting relevant results, including how, and what gets reported. For example, how has your reporting techniques grown and evolved to include new methods or technologies?
  • Retrospectives: The state of the games user research field past, present, and future.
  • Statistics: Statistical methods for detecting and describing player experiences. For example, what new statistical methods can be applied to user research now and in the future?
  • Teamwork: Strategies for working with diverse game development teams and team members.
  • Testing: Methods for testing at all development stages and in all types of games. For example, how have methods evolved over time? What are research methods approaches that you engage with now that you could not have in the past?
  • Training: Training both in and outside the classroom. For example, the state of games user research education and how we can prepare students for careers in the future. Effective ways to train existing studio personnel about user research.
  • Other: Anything else that might be useful for games user research. What are you doing now that sets you up for the future?

#gamesUR Summit has been running since 2008 and regularly has over 300 attendees from all around the world. Speakers have run the gamut from juniors looking to share an innovative new idea through to thought leaders in the industry providing their invaluable perspective. Speaking at the Summit is a great way to propagate information and share practices to help our discipline grow, but also to make future connections and grow your personal brand as a GUR practitioner in the games industry. It also doesn’t hurt that speakers get a free ticket to attend the Summit talks!

Submission Requirements & Tips

Your submission for the Summit must include:

  • Submitter name(s) and organizational affiliations
  • Session format (see below Session Formats section for more info)
  • Desired duration of presentation (20 mins, 45 mins, or poster)
  • Intended audience level
  • Talk title
  • The outline – must be at least 150 words (maximum 500 words)
  • 3 Content labels – think 3 keywords to explain your talk (e.g.; Methods, Analytics, Case Study, Post-Mortem, etc.)
  • Speaker info – brief description about yourself!
  • Any requests/accommodations
  • Consent to record/document your presentation

Here are some simple tips to help your submission get approved:

  • Write clearly and concisely
  • Have a clear/descriptive title
  • Avoid product pitches.
  • You are free to make multiple submissions.
  • The talk outline should contain:
    • An outline of the overall position of the talk, e.g.: the elevator pitch.
    • The description should give a good idea of the story/journey of the talk and how it will support the position. Examples can be helpful here.
    • Strong takeaways – make sure to include exactly what you expect attendees to learn, and why this talk would be valuable to them.
    • Last year’s program is available online as a reference: 2019 GUR Program

NOTE: Your full talk materials/slides are NOT required at this stage – only an outline or brief abstract needs to be submitted.

Submission Formats

We accept several types of formats for submissions:

  • Presentations: Describe completed or ongoing GUR/UX work, with clearly defined topics and takeaways for the audience.
  • Panels: Discuss a topic of mutual interest from several researchers for which multiple expert perspectives are useful and insightful. Panel proposals are encouraged to consider audience participation, as well as having a panel moderator. Have an idea for a panel but still looking for other panelists? Submit your proposal as a panel organizer and we will help find others to join you. Interested in speaking on a panel but don’t want to be the organizer? Let us know in a submission that you want to be a panel contributor and we’ll match you with an organizer.
  • Roundtables: Openly discuss topics in a more freestyle format than a panel, where everyone present is encouraged to contribute to the topic of the roundtable. Roundtable proposals are encouraged to touch upon topics of broad interest, in either traditional or fishbowl format.
  • Back to Basics: Sessions on introductory topics relevant to anyone starting out in the Games User Research community, or seasoned researchers looking to expand their knowledge base in a particular area.
  • Workshops: Interested in running a workshop on how to perform a particular method? Consider running an interactive workshop where you can help others become familiar with how to enhance their research with new methods or approaches.
  • Posters: Present research conducted, including ongoing research or early findings. Posters will have at least 1 presentation time slot.
  • Other: Appropriate for content not covered in the formats above. Please be as specific as possible in your proposal to get a clear idea of what you are imagining for your session.