University of York
iGGi PG Researcher
Elena specialises in novel forms of 'predatory' monetisation in digital games and its effects on players and is particularly interested in the links of game design to gaming disorder. She uses her background in psychology and human-computer interaction to take a player-centric perspective: developing knowledge bottom-up and working directly with players as the primary stakeholder. Her work spans ethics, wellbeing, and the lived experience of technology and its use.
In her work so far, Elena has conducted a qualitative study with 1000+ players to create a taxonomy of microtransactions that players perceive to be unfair, aggressive, or misleading, and carried out a prevalence assessment of these techniques across the most popular desktop and mobile games. Most recently, her work discovered several types of harms which emerge from player interaction with games perceived as 'designed to drive spending'. Additionally, Elena has contributed to government calls for evidence around game regulation, given talks at seminar series and conferences, and collaborated on a variety of related topics, such as loot box spending, esports betting, and changes to gameplay during COVID.