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Dr Alena Denisova

University of York


Alena Denisova is a Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of York, UK. She is actively involved in collaborative and interdisciplinary projects that involve conceptualising and measuring user experience of video games and designing and building educational and persuasive interactive media. Her research explores the role of the `placebo effect’ of technology in shaping player experiences, perceived challenge and uncertainty in video games, and, more recently, emotionally impactful player experiences - understanding how these experiences are shaped with the view to inform the design of games that promote these experiences.

Alena is an active member of the games HCI community: she is a co-chair of the IEEE Task Force on Automatic Gameplay Evaluation and a member of the Programme Committee for the annual CHI and CHI Play conferences.

She is interested in supervising students that have qualitative, mixed method or design experience that they wish to apply to studying digital games. Possible research topics include exploring what makes choices in games meaningful for players, how perceived uncertainty, risk-aversion, and luck affect decision making in games, and how skill is acquired and advanced throughout while playing video games. She is also keen to work with students who wish to work on games with a purpose. For instance, designing and developing games that promote informed decision-making about moral and ethical choices, such as promoting sustainable lifestyle, reflecting on important real-life issues, developing personally, etc.


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