Academic Mindtrek Tracks

We are very pleased to announce that the 25th International Academic Mindtrek conference will take place between the 16th and 18th of November 2022. The conference will welcome proposals for full papers, workshops, demonstrations and poster presentations on a variety of topics (see tracks below) as well as a Doctoral Consortium.

Academic Mindtrek 2022 welcomes submissions under the following tracks:

1. Games and Gamification

Chairs: Juho Hamari (Tampere University) and Benedikt Morschheuser (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)

Description: Gamification is considered as a “process of transforming any activity, system, service, product, or organizational structure into one which affords positive experiences, skills, and practices similar to those afforded by games and is often referred to as the gameful experience” (Hamari, 2019). This is commonly, but optionally, applied with an intention to facilitate changes in human behaviours or stimulate cognitive processes. As the main inspirations of gamification are games and play, gamification is realized through the application of game design (Morschheuser et al., 2017).

Gamification has become an umbrella concept that, to varying degrees, includes and encompasses other related technological developments such as serious games, game-based learning, exergames & quantified-self, games with a purpose/human-based computation games, and persuasive technology.

Secondly, gamification also manifests in a gradual, albeit unintentional, cultural, organizational and societal transformation stemming from the increased pervasive engagement with games, gameful interactions, game communities and player practices. For example, recently we have witnessed the popular emergence of augmented reality games and virtual reality technologies that enable a more seamless integration of games into our physical reality. Moreover, the media ecosystem has also experienced a degree of ludic transformation: with user generated content becoming an important competitor for large media corporations. This transformation has led to the development of several emerging phenomena such as the Youtube and modding cultures, esports, or the ‘metaverse’, that have penetrated the cultural membrane allowing games to seep into domains hitherto dominated by traditional media.

Relevant topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Users: e.g. Engagement, experience, motivations, user/player types
  • Education: e.g. Serious games, game-based learning, simulation games
  • Media: e.g. eSports, streaming
  • Commerce: e.g. Game business models, free-to-play, gamification as marketing, adoption
  • Work: e.g. Organizational gamification, gameful work, games-with-a-purpose, playbour
  • Technology: e.g. VR, AR, MR, gameful wearables, metaverse and IoT
  • Toys & playfulness: e.g. Digital puppetry, smart toys
  • Health: e.g. Quantified-self, games for health, health benefits
  • Theories/concepts/methods: Contributions to science around gamification

Hamari, J. (2007). Gamification. The Blackwell encyclopedia of sociology, 1-3.

Morschheuser, B., Hassan, L., Werder, K., & Hamari, J. (2018). How to design gamification? A method for engineering gamified software. Information and Software Technology, 95

2. Understanding and Designing the Socio-Technical

Chairs: Thomas Olsson (Tampere University) and Robb Mitchell (University of Southern Denmark)

Description: This track embraces interdisciplinary research that bridges social sciences, computer science, and design. We welcome a broad range of research topics that touch the interrelatedness of social and technical elements: e.g., information technology conditioning social interactions, collaboration, and interpersonal relationships, as well as social aspects like norms and regulations shaping the use and development of technology. This broad area is especially timely now in the post-pandemic where social behaviour is increasingly technology-mediated.

We welcome papers representing various research approaches and methodologies — across disciplinary boundaries. The research could be about studying, designing, or critiquing socio-technical matters. The track chairs have a natural orientation towards the fields of human-computer/technology interaction and social computing but welcome research also from the social sciences (e.g., work life research, social psychology, science and technology studies, communication research) as well as from different fields of design (e.g., design provocations, design case studies, and artistic interventions). The track welcomes theoretical work, conceptualization pieces and argumentation papers, empirical studies, design case studies, annotated portfolios, as well as methodology development.

More specific topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Enhancing social encounters and other multi-user interactions in remote or collocated settings
  • Novel IT applications for mediating and facilitating remote interaction: at work, in hobbies, in leisure time.
  • Unconventional applications and speculative designs of Social Computing and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
    Collaboration and social interactions in XR and other emerging technologies
  • Social matching technology, people recommender systems, team formation tools and other forms of systems that shape relationships and social networks
  • Social networks and other systemic perspectives to socio-technical systems.
3. Fictional, Speculative and Critical Futures

Chairs: Oguz “Oz” Buruk (Tampere University), Ahmet Börütecene (Linköping University) and Conor Linehan (University College Cork)

Description: With recent rapid developments in human-computer interaction, we are now facing emerging technologies which will have major impacts on humanity, potentially dramatically altering our ways of living. Technologies that once were the domain of science fiction, such as brain-machine interfaces, body augmentations, mind upload, habituation of space and robotic companions, are now here, or on the immediate horizon. These emerging technologies promise exciting opportunities for humankind, but they come with many challenges and might lead to massive societal, cultural and individual paradigm shifts. Understanding the impacts of these emerging technologies is remarkably challenging with conventional HCI methods such as user experiments or interviews.

Design Fiction, Speculative Design or Critical Design have emerged as methods to grapple with the possible futures inherent in emerging technologies. These methods create fictional worlds oriented around proximate futures of technology allowing researchers to contemplate the consequences and possibilities of new technologies. Speculative and critical methods help us think rigorously and systematically about the future, but also playfully. Our aim with this track is to create a venue for research projects which adopt less conventional methods and in the long term become a frontier publication avenue for such research projects.

Submissions may include a variety of methods, but they MUST include a section that critically engages with the related research by using tools such as fictional abstracts, fictional prototypes, speculative design proposals or pastiche scenarios. Accordingly, we do not have a clear boundary on the topics we accept, however, some of the exemplar topics include:

  • Body-integrated Technologies
  • Brain-Computer Interfaces
  • Techno-Spiritual Studies
  • Altered States of Consciousness
  • Transhuman and Posthuman Technologies
  • Robotic Agents
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Habitation of Space
  • Solarpunk, Steampunk, Cyberpunk, and Afrofuturism
  • Dystopia and Utopia Studies

If you are unfamiliar with the methods mentioned in this track but still would like to submit your research, we recommend a few readings that can lead to a successful submission (see here). These methods can help researchers form novel perspectives to engage with their topics. Therefore, we expect submissions from all fields and encourage authors to engage with the fictitious, speculative and critical design methods.

If you have questions, please contact

4. Playable Cities

Chairs: Mattia Thibault (Tampere University), Anton Nijholt (Twente University) and Annika Wolff (LUT University)

Description: The continuous introduction of new technologies in the urban environment is multiplying the relevant dimensions of Smart Cities and their possible reach. Digital twins and extended realities add to the intricacy of the relations between digital and physical urban spaces, while discourses around metaverse implementations open new questions about how they will impact the future of cities.

Technological development adds new ethical issues to the many raised by traditional smart cities, but also offers novel potential to playable cities. If the latter hack urban technology and use play to create tighter communities and mobilize citizens around social issues, these new dimensions suggest an ubiquitous presence of play in all dimensions of urban living.

It is not only the city spaces that are increasingly smart and playful, but also their population, both in regard to human citizens and to posthuman inhabitants, such as animals, robots, XR creatures, and Artificial Intelligence. Playfulness promises to have an increasingly important role in the complex interactions that will take place in future urban spaces between their many levels and actors.

This track aims to explore both current potential and implementations, as well as future possible developments of Playable Cities, with a particular attention to the manyfold relations between urban spaces, technological augmentations and (posthuman) citizens.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Playable Cities: playing in, with and for the city, serious urban games, urban gamification, critical urban play, hackable cities.
  • Smart and Playful citizens: wearable urban technologies, bottom-up smart projects, citizen sensing, augmented and transhuman citizenship.
  • Posthuman and post-Anthropocene cities: urban animals, AI, Internet of Animals, XR creatures.
  • Post-digital urban play: analogue and physical play, traditional urban games, hybrid play.
  • Sustainability and inclusivity: ecologic and climate resilient cities, e-mobility, the fabrication city, cities and disability, cities for all ages, gender-neutral cities.

If you have questions, please contact

5. Metaverse

Chairs: Nannan Xi (Tampere University) and FIona Nah (City University of Hong Kong), Philipp A. Rauschnabel (Universität der Bundeswehr München) and Sylvia Xueni Pan (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Description: With the rapid development and maturity of innovative information and computing technologies, the vision of an alternate and decentrally organized digital world has arisen - often referred to as the “metaverse”. The ongoing debates and research initiatives have not yet fully concluded what exactly constitutes a - or the - metaverse but we know that research concludes that virtual and hybrid reality formats, often summarized under the umbrella term “XR” (X can be replaced by any form of new reality) will play a dominant role. More specifically, concepts such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) will provide access to Metaverse-environments. Within these environments, cryptocurrencies, digital twins, avatars, digital identities, and new social/legal systems will likely play important roles in distinguishing the metaverse concept from digital environments we know today.

On a broader level, little is known about the general “nature” of the metaverse concept (e.g., how different players define and evaluate it or how it can impact societies at large). In contrast to the idea of the metaverse, XR technologies have been on the market for several years and provide multiple opportunities for research that include, but are not limited to, usability, comfort, functionality, interactivity, vividness, privacy, ethical and legal issues, and unexpected adverse outcomes. Such hurdles and concerns warrant researchers’ attention.

We encourage submissions from any disciplinary background that uses any research approach. Authors of accepted papers in this track are also invited to submit an expanded version of their papers to the special issue “Metaverse” in AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction (THCI) for fast-tracking considerations.

Topics of interest to this track include but are not limited to:

  • Usability: e.g. design, interface, and evaluation
  • Adoption: e.g. acceptance, usage, and satisfaction
  • Dark side: e.g. challenges, risks, and ethical concerns
  • Experience: e.g. affect, enjoyment, playfulness, presence, immersion, embodiment, flow, interactivity, and vividness
  • Information and knowledge: e.g. cognitive skill, learning performance, training, information processing, and knowledge management
  • Social interaction: e.g. crowdsourcing, collaboration platform, team building, co-creation, collaboration, competition, and social capital
  • Organizational system: e.g. decision making, strategic management, leadership, innovation, and communication
  • Value and outcomes: e.g. individual wellbeing, self-efficacy, trust, pro-environmental outcomes, sustainability, human rights, and cultural aspects
6. Human-nature interactions

Chairs: Ferran Altarriba (Tampere University), Velvet Spors (Tampere University) and Katherine Isbister (University of California) and Pat Brundell (University of Nottingham)

Description: This track aims to bring together a body of exciting research into the design of interactive technology for human-nature interactions. We welcome a broad range of research topics and projects that explore the potential of tech to enhance people’s experience of and relationship with nature. In particular, we are interested in works that transcend the bounds of techno-solutionism; that is, works that explore how technology could contribute to enriching human-nature interactions beyond productivist or otherwise utilitarian frames, thus embracing the importance of alternative values such as joy, fun, care, or multi-species inter-relatedness. Overall, we intend to stimulate a conversation around the potential of technology to support future human-nature entanglements that are experientially rich, socio-culturally meaningful, ecologically caring, and ultimately, joyful and fun.

We welcome papers representing various research approaches and methodologies. Due to the track’s theme and focus, we expect the conversation to have a slight orientation towards HCI, interaction design, and design research. However, we also welcome submissions from other disciplines such as social sciences or the arts, e.g. in the form of research or artistic work centered on the impact of tech on people’s relationship with nature. We invite a range of different submission types, including theoretical works, argumentation essays, empirical studies, design cases, annotated portfolios and pictorials, experiences, artworks, and methods papers.

In summary, this track’s topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • The impact of technology on human-nature interactions
  • Technology design centered on values of joy and/or care (for the environment, for oneself, for other humans, for other species…)
  • Celebratory technology for nature-related activity
  • Technology that imitates, simulates, or augments nature experiences
  • Design research that touches upon environmental and ecological justice, restoration, sustainability, and climate change
  • Participatory engagements that reflect on local flora and fauna through technology
  • Playful or gameful design targeting forestry experiences
  • Novel methods for co-designing for and/or from the forest
  • Critical, speculative, and/or theoretical works that reflect upon these themes and concerns
7. Datafication for Good

Chairs: Zampeta Legaki (Tampere University), Kostas Karpouzis (Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences)

Description: During the last decade, the world's data has been doubling every two years, and, at the pace at which humans create and consume it, data is expected to increase exponentially. This technological trend that translates the world into a digitized source of data (i.e. datafication) comes to enhance our perspective on how we look at the world, how we understand it, and how we can predict its future. Given the vast amounts of data generated and technological progress, society is faced with the challenge of transforming a world full of data into a data-driven world. To do so means to raise awareness and maintain fairness and safety, support understanding, and eventually well-informed decision making about current major societal challenges (i.e. related to health, demographic change and wellbeing; food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy; Secure, clean and efficient energy; Smart, green and integrated transport; Climate action, environment, resource efficiency, and raw materials; Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies; Secure societies - protecting freedom, security, and at-risk populations).

This track welcomes contributions that focus on persuasive technologies, human-computer interaction, and strategies that aim to support public understanding or dissemination of societal challenges (e.g. data-driven strategies, playful methodologies), and/or are related to Sustainable Development Goals.

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Data for Good, Data for Change
  • Information Systems, data visualization, visualization analytics
  • Information design, data journalism, and data activism
  • Prototypes, applications, and playful and gameful approaches and design for Social change
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Methodology
8. Dark Side of Information Technology Use

Chairs: Henri Pirkkalainen (Tampere University), Monideepa Tarafdar (Lancaster University) and Markus Salo (University of Jyväskylä)

Description: The use of information technology (IT) provides numerous potentials and delights for individuals in work and non-work-related settings. Many potentials relate to increased productivity and performance as industries adopt new ways of working with IT due to digitalization. Despite these examples of potentials and delights, IT use has also been associated with a number of negatively associated outcomes and side-effects.

The term “dark side of IT use” refers to a collection of ‘negative’ phenomena that are associated with the use of IT, and that have the potential to infringe the well-being of individuals, organizations and societies. The dark side of IT use raises many important issues on phenomena such as technostress and coping, IT addiction, security and privacy concerns, information load and IT engagement, IT interruptions and deviant workplace behaviors.

As new technologies emerge, so do their various negative impacts. The prevalence and significance of the negative effects of IS use for individuals, organizations, and societies illustrate the importance of extending the research in this area. We invite submissions that explore new, emerging phenomena, advance prior literature and apply/develop new measures, methods or insights related to dark side of IT use. Thus, we invite theoretical/conceptual articles, empirical research (e.g., in-depth case/field/interview studies, surveys, experiments, longitudinal studies), meta-analyses and others embedded in work and non-work-related contexts.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Technostress and strains
  • IT addiction, IT dependence and problematic IT use
  • IT interruptions
  • Multitasking
  • Negative outcomes or side-effects of using emerging technologies (e.g., virtual/augmented/mixed reality, internet of things, wearable technology, ubiquitous systems)
  • Issues on interacting with Artificial Intelligence (e.g., dehumanization)
  • Deception and malicious use of IT (e.g., distribution of disinformation, fake news)
  • The effects related to privacy and security concerns
  • Cyberbullying and internet stalking
  • Work surveillance (e.g., Employee monitoring, IT-mediated control)
  • Polarization of society
  • Algorithmic bias
9. Robotic and conversational interactions

Chairs: Aino Ahtinen (Tampere University), Mohammad Obaid (Chalmers University of Technology), Roel Pieters (Tampere University) and Nasim Beheshtian (Tampere University)

Description: Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) is a comparably young discipline, which attracts more and more attention within academic and industrial research. Robots are rapidly spreading to all spheres of life and taking more roles in society, from massive industrial automation to supportive application in education, medicine and households.

This track is suitable for all the papers that explore how to design and develop robotic systems that can fit society's needs and be able to accomplish complex and unstructured tasks when interacting with people. We especially encourage papers that present experiments and field studies focusing on the issues of interaction between humans and robots, via different modalities such as audio, speech, and conversations. This track is a great opportunity to initiate a multidisciplinary discussion on the key challenges and opportunities of HRI on theoretical and practical levels.

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science in HRI
  • Human-robot communication and interaction via speech and audio
  • Socially Assistive and Interactive Robotics
  • Industrial Robotics & Automation
  • User-centred and robotics-centred design in HRI: theories, methods, frameworks and real-life appliances
  • UX in Robotics
  • Data security aspects in HRI
10. Designing for and with Children

Chairs: Sumita Sharma (University of Oulu), Grace Eden (Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology) and Noura Howell (GeorgiaTech)

Description: In this track, we welcome papers that contribute to the understanding of how children use, design, and envision technology for their everyday lives and experiences. How can designing for and with children - support children's imagination of how they want to live with technology in their future lives? Support children's ethical and moral growth in considering emergent issues with technology? Nurture children as designers and Makers of technologies that are equitable and ethical? Nurture them as change makers and activists for issues affecting them?

We welcome research and design work with (but not limited to) educators, families, children (as testers, co-designers, co-researchers, etc), and other stakeholders in a variety of contexts (schools, clubs, public spaces, rural, urban), especially in the areas of inclusion, diversity, and empowerment of under-represented children and communities.

Authors are encouraged to submit exploratory studies with nuanced theoretical underpinnings and/or discussions and case study approaches that focus on designing for and catering to the needs and aspirations of children and the diverse stakeholders surrounding them in their everyday lives. Suggested topics include theories, models, frameworks, case / user studies on (but are not limited to):

  • Child-computer Interaction
  • Participatory Design and Research
  • Design futuring, design fiction, speculative design, and related approaches
11. Technology in Education

Chairs: Muhterem Dindar (Tampere University) and Daniel Bodemer (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Description: Rapid technological advancements have fastened uptaking of digital tools and environments in the educational landscape. Games, simulations, extended reality mediums, and internet-enabled platforms have been increasingly used for teaching and learning within and outside the schools. The challenges in designing effective, efficient and enjoyable learning experiences with digital technologies has drawn attention of scholars from a broad range of fields including psychology, learning sciences, and computer science. This track provides an opportunity for the researchers to partake in transdisciplinary discussions and collaborations on designing and implementing context-aware, social, adaptive, personalized, and playful technologies for education.

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Gamified/Game-based Learning
  • Virtual, Mixed and Augmented Reality Applications in Education
  • Teaching and Learning with Artificial Intelligence
  • Learning Analytics
  • Human-Computer Interaction in Educational Technology
  • Online Learning Platforms (e.g. MOOCS, and video conferencing systems)
  • Mobile Learning Systems
  • Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
  • Data and Methodological Issues in Digital Education
12. Accessibility in the Digital Society

Chairs: Vasiliki Mylonopoulou (University of Gothenburg) and Markku Turunen

Description: Differently from the physical spaces, the inaccessibility of the digital ones is often overlooked. Users that are left outside of a digital system are invisible, unseen by other users or by designers.

In 2016 the United Nations added the reformative promise NO ONE LEFT BEHIND to its Sustainable Developmental Goals. By 2018, all countries in the European Union had to ensure by law the accessibility of public services was provided online. These policies underline how the design of a digital society needs to be rethought in order not to repeat the assumptions and preconceptions of the build world.

Up to recently, accessibility was an add-on feature to the digital world instead of being ingrained in the design process. The way the design of technology happens nowadays is heavily visual and auditory both in matters of resulting products and in matters of design tools. Involvement of a variety of users through participatory design has increased through the years, and organised bodies for people and patient involvement in research have been created in different countries. More and more people with diverse needs have started to influence the design of digital interventions. Nevertheless, we still have long way ahead of us to create an accessible digital society, both to increase the accessibility of services and to facilitate the understanding of complex information (such as data access agreements and their compliance to General Data Protection Regulation).

In this track we invite researchers and practitioners from a variety of backgrounds, including: researchers (from HCI and interaction design as well as researchers from social sciences and disability studies) focusing on diversity, accessibility, disability, design justice, and designers and practitioners working  for users who are outside of the “norm”,  or focusing on methods and tools designed for a diverse population.

The tack welcomes a range of types of papers, including literature reviews, empirical studies, theoretical papers, and experimental studies.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Design methods and tools for the diverse HCI researcher/interaction design practitioner
  • Design methods and tools for an inclusive user research and user involvement
  • Case studies/empirical studies related to designing technology and digital services for accessibility and inclusion
  • Literature reviews of accessibility tools, designs, and methods
  • Empirical studies on inclusion/exclusion of a population from the digital society
  • AI and diversity
  • Digital world and assumptions/preconceptions