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Prof. Paul Cairns

University of York

iGGi Chair


Paul Cairns is a professor interested in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) generally and specifically on how games work to produce the experiences that players really value. He has looked extensively at immersion and engagement in games but is also developing new ideas on players experiences of challenge and uncertainty. 

He has been teaching HCI for over twenty years and is particularly interested in the rigorous application of research methods having co-edited the first book on research methods for HCI and written another about doing better statistics in HCI. He strongly believes in self-explanatory book titles. He is also Scholar-in-Residence at The AbleGamers Charity, based in the USA, through which he is working with players and game developers to inform and advance the development of accessible games. With his colleagues there, he produced the Accessible Player Experiences (APX) design patterns and card deck.

He is particularly interested in supervising students with a HCI, behavioural sciences, media or computer science background on the following topics:

  • Understanding player experiences

  • Developing new measures of player experience whether based on self-report, physiological or other instruments

  • Accessible player experiences

  • Using games to understand and inform people’s experiences with other interactive systems

Research themes:

  • Accessible Games

  • Games with a Purpose

  • Player Experience


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