Student Game Competition

Student Game Competition

Quick Facts

CHI 2022 is structured as a Hybrid-Onsite full conference from April 30–May 5 in New Orleans, LA.

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: January 13, 2022
  • Notification: January 31, 2022
  • e-rights completion deadline: February 7, 2022
  • initial upload to TAPS deadline: February 14, 2022
  • publication-ready deadline: February 28, 2022

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 its being requested.

Submission Details

  • Online submission: PCS Submission System
  • Template: ACM Master Article Submission Templates (single column)
  • Submission format: up to 8-page (excluding references) paper; game teaser video; game demonstration video; and, with the exception of up to 2 supervisors, proof of all team members’ student status
  • Submissions are not anonymous and should include all author names, affiliations, and contact information

Selection Process



Jakob Karolus, Z Toups, Vicky McArthur

At the Conference

Finalists (top five in each category) will present their games at the Student Game Competition Event. Each finalist will also aim to prepare and host a playable version of the game at the conference during a scheduled demo/play session, or will present an expressive video of their game that demonstrates how players will engage with it. Note that we encourage designers 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 (potentially) 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.

After the Conference

Accepted submissions will appear as Extended Abstract proceedings in the ACM Digital Library.

Message from the Student Game Competition Chairs

Hello and a warm welcome to the 9th 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.

This year, we ask the students to submit their game to *one* of these two categories, which will be judged separately by a qualified jury; 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 category 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.

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

  • Students will submit their game to the competition. Expert reviewers will evaluate these submissions and 5 finalists for each of the categories will be selected to attend the CHI conference.
  • Each finalist will be required to send at least one member to attend the conference to demonstrate the game or a video thereof, and to take part in the final round and award ceremony.

All finalists earn a Certificate of Recognition. The winning entry in each of the two categories will be recognized and announced at the Student Game Competition Event as well as mentioned at the closing plenary session of the CHI conference.

Preparing and Submitting your Student Game Competition Submission

The submission must include:

  • A video demonstration 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: Guide to a Successful Video Submission.
  • A brief video ‘trailer’ 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, excluding 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.
  • Proof of student status: The Student Game Competition is for students, but we understand that advisors may assist in conceptualization and writing. The list of authors should include 1) a majority of students and 2) at most two non-student supervisors. To be eligible for the student competition, all student participants must provide either:
    • A) A signed letter from their academic supervisor confirming that they follow an academic course of study and that they were not employed within game-related industries when working on the team’s submission.
    • B) proof of registration/enrollment in a 2021 semester.

Each team must provide one proof package – a single file containing a scanned proof document for each team member – together with their project submission.

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 when judging and larger teams will be expected to produce more ambitious submissions. There is no limit to the number of teams that may compete from any given university. Submissions are invited from all students at all stages of their university careers, from undergraduate to postgraduate. While not a mandatory requirement, we encourage teams to leverage multidisciplinarity and diversity.

Authors are strongly encouraged to work on improving the accessibility of their 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

Additional PDF Accessibility Advice

  1. A trial version of Adobe Acrobat Pro is available, and it will let you tag papers (
  2. Speak to your co-authors to see if they have the resources to help make your paper accessible. Learning how to do PDF tagging will benefit our community in the long run.
  3. If the above steps are not possible, you can send the PDF to the Accessibility Chairs at However, please refrain from sending us your PDF too early. We want to reduce repeated efforts and if your paper needs to go through TAPS again, then it will need to be retagged. Send the PDF after you are confident no more corrections will need to be made.

Student Game Competition Selection Process

The Student Game Competition is a juried track for CHI 2022. 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 and award winners will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Quality and originality of gameplay itself (determined through gameplay).
  • Positioning and articulation of the game’s contribution to the submission category domain (determined through paper).

At the Conference

Five finalist submissions for each of the categories will be invited to CHI 2022 to present their games.

Students should be prepared to bring along a playable demo of the game and all necessary hardware for an interactivity session (consider this during submission). At the Student Game Competition Event, each finalist will give a brief (5 minutes) presentation about their game. Category winners will be announced during the event.

After the Conference

Accepted Student Game Competition contributions will be distributed in the CHI Conference Extended Abstracts, available in the ACM Digital Library.

If, when submitting to this venue, you detect a conflict of interest with one of its program committee members, contact the chairs. Should you have a conflict with the venue chairs themselves, contact the technical program chairs (

New Orleans skyline and trolley sketch