CHI2020: Three Best Paper Awards!

The three papers that were accepted at CHI2020 have all received awards: Two Best Paper Awards, and one Best Paper Honourable Mention!

1.Best Paper Award: “Robots for Inclusive Play: Co-designing an Educational Game With Visually Impaired and sighted Children” a paper on co-designing an inclusive social play technology with visually impaired and sighted children in mainstream schools, with Sandra Bardot, Clare Cullen, Marcos Serrano, and Christophe Jouffrais

Abstract: Despite being included in mainstream schools, visually impaired children still face barriers to social engagement and participation. Games could potentially help, but games that cater for both visually impaired and sighted players are scarce. We used a co-design approach to design and evaluate a robot-based educational game that could be inclusive of both visually impaired and sighted children in the context of mainstream education. We ran a focus group discussion with visual impairment educators to understand barriers to inclusive play. And then a series of co-design workshops to engage visually impaired and sighted children and educators in learning about and critiquing a commodity robot technology and exploring its potential to support inclusive play experiences. We present design guidelines and an evaluation workshop of a game prototype, demonstrating group dynamics conducive to collaborative learning experiences, including shared goal setting/execution, closely coupled division of labour, and interaction symmetry.

2. Best Paper Honourable Mention: “Review of Experimental Evaluations Methods of Technology for Visually Impaired PeopleA second paper on evaluating assistive technologies for visual impairment, with Emeline Brûlée, Brianna Tomlinson, Marcos Serrano, and Christophe Jouffrais and which resulted from ongoing collaborations and community building through a CHI2018 Workshop and CHI2019 SIG (also coming up, a workshop at ICMI2020) see:

Abstract: Addressing the needs of visually impaired people is of continued interest in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research. Yet, one of the major challenges facing researchers in this field continues to be how to design adequate quantitative empirical evaluation for these users in HCI. In this paper, we analyse a corpus of 178 papers on technologies designed for people with visual impairments, published since 1988, and including at least one quantitative empirical evaluation (243 evaluations in total). To inform future research in this area, we provide an overview, historic trends and a unified terminology to design and report quantitative empirical evaluations. We identify open issues and propose a set of guidelines to address them. Our analysis aims to facilitate and stimulate future research on this topic.

3. Best Paper Award:Isness: Using Multi-Person VR to Design Peak Mystical Type Experiences Comparable to Psychedelics” And a third on multisensory multi-person VR and psychedelics, with David Glowacki , Mark D. Wonnacott, Rachel Freire, Becca R. Glowacki, Ella M. Gale, James E. Pike, Tiu de Haan, and Mike Chatziapostolou

Abstract: Studies combining psychotherapy with psychedelic drugs (PsiDs) have demonstrated positive outcomes that are often associated with PsiDs’ ability to induce ‘mystical-type’ experiences (MTEs) – i.e., subjective experiences whose characteristics include a sense of connectedness, transcendence, and ineffability. We suggest that both PsiDs and virtual reality can be situated on a broader spectrum of psychedelic technologies. To test this hypothesis, we used concepts, methods, and analysis strategies from PsiD research to design and evaluate ‘Isness’, a multi-person VR journey where participants experience the collective emergence, fluctuation, and dissipation of their bodies as energetic essences. A study (N=57) analyzing participant responses to a commonly used PsiD experience questionnaire (MEQ30) indicates that Isness participants had MTEs comparable to those reported in double-blind clinical studies after high doses of psilocybin & LSD. Within a supportive setting and conceptual framework, VR phenomenology can create the conditions for MTEs from which participants derive insight and meaning.