CHI PLAY 2020 Full Paper Acceptance Rate and Final Scores

CHI PLAY 2020 received 163 complete submissions to the Full Papers track (see our previous blog post for a breakdown of scores before rebuttals). Out of these, 48 papers were selected for inclusion in the conference program, leading to an acceptance rate of 29.45%.

Figure 1. Score distributions (arithmetic mean) for papers that underwent full review after rebuttals and PC meeting.

With respect to score distributions of papers after rebuttals. While the average score shifted only slightly, Figure 1 shows that rebuttals resulted in a large number of high-scoring papers, leading to intensive discussions at the PC Meeting. In the end, most accepted papers fell in the score bracket of 3.7 or higher. The highest-scoring paper to be rejected had a score of 3.62, the lowest-scoring paper to be accepted received an average score of 3.25. For four papers, it was decided that a shepherding process would be most suitable in which the AC works closely with the authors to ensure relevant changes are made to the camera-ready version of the paper.

Generally, this means that the selection process for CHI PLAY 2020 was highly competitive, and we look forward to an interesting and inspiring conference.

Congratulations to all authors of accepted submissions. Regardless of the outcome, we would like to thank all authors for considering CHI PLAY as publication venue, and we hope that reviewer feedback will be useful for the preparation of revised and improved papers. We would like to express our gratitude to all ACs and reviewers who contributed their time to provide constructive feedback and ensure a high-quality conference program.

Kathrin Gerling & Günter Wallner
CHI PLAY 2020 Papers Chairs

CHI PLAY 2020 Full Paper Reviews and Rebuttals

CHI PLAY 2020 received 163 complete submissions to the Full Papers track. Of these, 1 was withdrawn and 2 papers were desk-rejected because they did not align with submission criteria on plagiarism or anonymization. Additionally, 3 submissions were quick rejected through an expedited reviewing process as they failed to meet basic standards. These papers still received reviews from the ACs.
The remaining 157 submissions were entered into the full reviewing process. They received a total of 631 reviews: 154 submissions received 4 reviews, 3 submissions received 5 reviews. Papers received scores from all individual reviewers as well as the 1AC, which are aggregated into an ‘overall score’ (highest possible score 5, lowest 1).
The average score for CHI PLAY 2020 papers that underwent full review is 2,80 (SD=0,83). Assuming an acceptance rate at or below 30% and that score is the only criterion to make acceptance/rejection decisions, this would mean that CHI PLAY 2020 has room for up to 47 papers. At this point, papers up to a score of 3,38 would stand a good chance of being accepted to the conference.
Out of the 157 submissions, 15 currently have a mean score of 4,0 or greater (9,56%); see Figure 1 for an overview of the score distribution.

Score distributions (arithmetic mean) for papers that underwent full review
Figure 1. Score distributions (arithmetic mean) for papers that underwent full review

We hope that this information will be helpful for authors who are deciding whether to submit a rebuttal. This of course primarily depends on the information that you received from the 1AC, and whether you have identified elements within reviews that you would like to respond to. Based on scores, we would encourage all authors with mean scores at or beyond 2,5 to submit a rebuttal.
There are many useful resources for writing rebuttals, some of which we already included in our initial communication to authors and have listed below:

Thank you for considering CHI PLAY 2020 as publication venue, and we look forward to engaging with your rebuttals and meeting you (virtually) at CHI PLAY 2020.

Kathrin Gerling & Guenter Wallner
CHI PLAY 2020 Papers Chairs

Updated CFP

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CHI PLAY 2020 will be a virtual conference. This comes with additional challenges, such as time zones, asynchronous presentation format, stimulating discussion and exchange of thought, accessibility challenges, and challenges around networking and community building in a virtual format.

We have altered the Call for Papers for all submissions due on the 15th of July to adapt to the requirements of a virtual conference experience. For example, some tracks require additional video material to be stored in the digital library, which requires authors to produce and submit an additional item, and we need additional information to plan across time zones.

Link to updated Call for Papers

CHI PLAY 2020 will be Virtual!

CHI PLAY 2020 will be a virtual conference. After carefully discussing the implications among the organizational team and with the CHI PLAY Steering Committee, we came to the conclusion that going virtual early is the most responsible decision for our community. 

It’s no secret that the research community is undergoing major changes to make sure that people can stay safe while continuing to connect, work together, and share their research with the world. Together, we can make sure that our community of researchers, students, and industry professionals continues to grow and thrive.

What’s going to happen:

The conference. CHI PLAY 2020 will still be happening in November. The organizational team, and the track-chairs, are working hand-in-hand to preserve the format and transition each track to a representative online format.

Publications. The conference proceedings will be published by ACM as usual. This year has the second-highest number of submitted Full papers of the conference’s 6-year history! You can check out the publication timeline on our website, and remember that there’s still time to submit in other tracks!

Presentations. Authors will still be able to present their work remotely. You can still look forward to the great sessions and discussion you’d expect at CHI PLAY. We’ll have more details to follow as we finalize elements of the virtual conference, so stay tuned.

Why we’re doing this:

Safety. We are a world-wide community, the effects of COVID-19 are unequally distributed. In consideration of recommendations made by public health officials, we believe that November is simply too soon to have such a large-scale in-person event. Hence, the best we can do to create an experience that further fosters and extends community and allows our work to shine is to plan early. 

Time to plan. Making this decision early provides us with the necessary time to plan the best possible virtual experience, and allow organizers, authors and attendees sufficient time to prepare and avoid abrupt cancellation with a loss of time and money. 

How you can join us:

Register to attend. Time zones, infrastructure, and personal circumstances will be some of the challenges that we have in mind and plan to address. The time we bought with an early decision will help us to address these issues. Further, we are aiming for a reduced registration fee to decrease financial barriers for our attendees. We’re working on the details of registration together with ACM SIGCHI, and we’ll have details available on the CHI PLAY website as soon as possible.

Submit your work. There is still time to submit your work. The deadline for submissions to the Work in progress, Interactivity, Student Game Design Competition, Rapid Communications, Doctoral Consortium tracks is on July 15th.

Contact us with questions, feedback, or suggestions for CHI PLAY 2020 at Your comments are welcome!

Let’s do this!

CHI PLAY spent the past six years showcasing work on how interactive and playful experiences improve our lives and pave the way for technical innovation. In the CHI PLAY 2020 Virtual Edition, we will play together, connect people, meet old and new friends, engage in serious discussions and share entertaining moments, from everywhere. We look forward to finding new approaches to connect and learn from each other even when face-to-face gatherings are not possible.

Thanks for continuing to support CHI PLAY and our research community as a whole. We’ll see you – virtually – at CHI PLAY 2020 in November!

The CHI PLAY 2020 General Chairs

Message from the conference chairs

As an author you may have questions regarding the publication process and the conference experience. We aim to be transparent about our perspective and actions in these uncertain times.

We want to emphasize that all accepted CHI PLAY 2020 submissions (Full Papers, Work-in-Progress, Rapid Communications, etc.) will go into the conference proceedings, and will be published in the ACM Digital Library. We can assure you that the publication process is not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Besides academic contributions, the social experience of CHI PLAY is central to our community. At this point in time, we believe that a physical conference in November is still possible and are planning accordingly. While we truly hope that we can welcome you in Ottawa, we are aware of the possibility that short-term travel might not be an option. To be proactive about the situation, we are exploring other opportunities to foster a community experience such as virtual or mixed, local or branched, conference formats. 

Above all, we want to maintain and build our community. In these challenging times, remaining connected is more important than ever. 

All current and latest updates can be found at 

Submission deadline of Full Papers from 7th of April to the 21st of April, 23:59 AoE

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizing team of CHI PLAY 2020 together with the steering committee decided to extend the submission deadline of Full Papers from 7th of April to the 21st of April, 23:59 AoE. We acknowledge that user studies planned to be conducted right now are compromised. Currently it is uncertain when co-located user studies can be conducted safely again. We want to stress that CHI PLAY embraces a wide variety of research contributions and we would like to encourage authors to think ‘bold and beyond’. While CHI PLAY has always been open to the full bandwidth of ways of knowing, adapting to the situation, our reviewing guidelines will emphasize the value of other ways to gain insights beyond user studies.

All current and latest updates can be found at


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