Aishat Aloba

I attended the CHI PLAY 2017 conference which took place at the Pakhuis De Zwijger in Amsterdam, Netherlands. I will share my experience at this conference based on three important benefits I gained from attending. The first benefit was feedback on my research. At the CHI PLAY conference, I presented my paper titled “From Board Game to Digital Game: Designing a Mobile Strategy Game for Children to Learn about Invasive Species,” as a poster during the conference’s poster session. Though this presentation was not my first poster presentation, every poster presentation often feels like the first since if my poster will be well received. To my delight, both researchers and game designers stopped by my poster to listen to my research work. They found the research to be interesting and many of them felt enlightened to learn about invasive species since they never realized previously the harm these species posed to the environment. They also had questions such as what directions do I hope to extend the digital game to ensure that children were improving their knowledge of invasive species. Furthermore, many people provided great feedback on my research to help its future direction, such as not limiting the learning to children only but to ensure that parents are also involved in the learning process.

The second benefit I gained was updating my knowledge on state of the art research in the player-computer interaction field which is a combination of human-computer interaction, games, and play. The CHI PLAY conference was a single track conference spanning four days. During each day, the papers to be presented in the track were divided into themes and researchers had 10 minutes to present their findings. The set of papers I benefited from the most were presented in the theme titled ‘Let’s Get Physical.’ The papers in this theme focused on physical activity and exercise games which aligns with my research interests. From listening to the talks in this theme, I gained insights into a type of exercise game I had never heard of before, breathing exercise games help people to regulate their breathing through breathing exercises. This newly gained knowledge was very insightful, and I have started to think about how to incorporate this type of exercise games in my research. The third benefit from attending the CHI PLAY conference was that I was able to share my research interests in exercise games and gaming in general with prominent researchers in the field who provided me with insights to guide the future direction of my research. I would like to give my sincere thanks to ACM-W for providing me with this exciting opportunity to attend the CHI PLAY 2017 conference.