Ethnographic explorations into games and game design

Games are an important piece of the social fabric in our everyday lives. They help us build relationships with one another, and us with a fantasy space to practice working with and competing against others.

A physical Sphero can be controlled by tilting a corresponding <em>control sphero</em> in the desired direction of movement.
A physical Sphero can be controlled by tilting a corresponding control sphero in the desired direction of movement.

Although not a “core project” for RICELab, we have a continuing interest in games – and I don’t just mean in terms of playing them! – both in terms of studying how people interact with one another in games (Tang et al., 2012; Wong et al., 2009; Neustaedter et al., 2010), and in terms of designing engaging experiences (Jones et al., 2014; Finke et al., 2008; Neustaedter et al., 2013). Our explorations have included physical games (Jones et al., 2014), MMORPGs (Wong et al., 2009), first-person shooters (Tang et al., 2012), and pervasive games (Neustaedter et al., 2010; Neustaedter et al., 2013; Jeffrey et al., 2006).


  1. Brennan Jones, Kody Dillman, Setareh Aghel Manesh, Ehud Sharlin, and Anthony Tang. (2014). Designing an Immersive and Entertaining Pervasive Gameplay Experience with Spheros as Game and Interface Elements. In EA CHI PLAY ’14: ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play. (poster).
    Notes: 2-page abstract + poster.
  2. Carman Neustaedter, Anthony Tang, and Tejinder K. Judge. (2013). Creating scalable location-based games: lessons from Geocaching. Personal Ubiquitous Comput. 17, 2: 335–349. (journal).
  3. Anthony Tang, Jonathan Massey, Nelson Wong, Derek Reilly, and W. Keith Edwards. (2012). Verbal coordination in first person shooter games. In CSCW ’12: Proceedings of the ACM 2012 conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, ACM, 579–582. (conference).
    Acceptance: 29.6% - 37/125 for notes.
  4. Carman Neustaedter, Anthony Tang, and Judge K. Tejinder. (2010). The role of community and groupware in geocache creation and maintenance. In CHI ’10: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, 1757–1766. (conference).
  5. Nelson Wong, Anthony Tang, Ian Livingston, Carl Gutwin, and Regan Mandryk. (2009). Character sharing in World of Warcraft. In ECSCW 2009: Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW), Springer London, 343–362. (conference).
  6. Matthias Finke, Anthony Tang, Rock Leung, and Michael Blackstock. (2008). Lessons learned: game design for large public displays. In DIMEA ’08: Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on Digital Interactive Media in Entertainment and Arts, ACM, 26–33. (conference).
  7. Phillip Jeffrey, Mike Blackstock, Matthias Finke, Anthony Tang, Rodger Lea, Meghan Deutscher, and Kento Miyaoku. (2006). Chasing the Fugitive on Campus: Designing a Location-based Game for Collaborative Play. Loading.. Journal 1, 1. (journal).