The CHI PLAY 2021 Doctoral Consortium provides an opportunity for doctoral students to explore and develop their research interests in games and HCI in an interdisciplinary workshop, under the guidance of distinguished researchers. 

Important dates

(all times are 23:59 Anywhere on Earth or AoE):

July 16, 2021 Doctoral Consortium papers submission deadline
August 20, 2021 Notifications 
September 10, 2021 Camera Ready Deadline

Submit your work via Precision Conference System (PCS) 2.0


We invite all students who feel they will benefit from feedback experts in the interdisciplinary field of games research to submit their work. This year the Doctoral Consortium accepts students who are early in their careers working on developing their proposals, e.g., second to third year PhD students, and students who have a draft proposal and would benefit from community feedback. We will prioritize candidates who are at least in their second year, have a clear topic, a research problem, a research plan, and a research approach, and have made some progress, but who are not so far along that they can no longer make changes.

Although the conference this year is online, we have funds through Gary Marsden Fun to support conference attendance for students, please see:

If you have questions or requests to make that are fundamental to your participation (e.g., accessibility), please contact the Equity & Accessibility chairs at We will provide access to automated subtitling in any case.


The Consortium aims to: 

  1. provide a setting where students can present their work and meet other students, 
  2. provide feedback on students’ current research and guidance on future research directions, 
  3. offer each student comments and fresh perspectives on their work from researchers and students outside their own institution, 
  4. promote the development of a supportive community of scholars and a spirit of collaborative research, and 
  5. contribute to the conference goals through interaction with other researchers and conference events.



Current graduate students pursuing a PhD project who would benefit from detailed workshop discussions of their doctoral research should submit a document and a video as described below. Deadline for submission is July 16, 2021. 


The document should consist of a single PDF file that includes the following elements and is formatted appropriately. Please submit a single file that include the following:

  • Extended Abstract. A 2 page research description (excluding references) covering central aspects of your PhD work, which speaks to the following key points:
      • Context and motivation that drives your dissertation research
      • Research objectives/goals/questions
      • Background/literature review of key works that frames your research
      • Hypothesis/thesis and/or problem statement
      • Your research approach and methods, including relevant rationale
      • Results to date and their validity
      • Dissertation status and next steps
      • Current and expected contributions
      • References (these don’t count towards the 2 page limit)
  • Appendix 1. A one-paragraph statement of expected benefits of participation for both yourself and the other consortium participants (i.e., what will you contribute as well as gain) (1 page).
  • Appendix 2. A letter of nomination from your primary dissertation advisor (1 page).
  • Appendix 3. Your concise current Curriculum Vita (1-2 pages)

CHI PLAY 2021 will use the new ACM Primary Article Templates; detailed instructions on formatting can be found at Authors should submit manuscripts for review in a single column format, which is available for Word and LaTeX (use the “manuscript” call to create a single column format, rather than “acmsmall”). If you are using the ACM LaTeX Overleaf template, please select the “ACM Journals – New Primary Article Template”, not the “ACM Conference Proceedings ‘Master’ Template”.

Formatting and Length

ACM authoring templates and detailed instructions on formatting can be found at

Authors should submit manuscripts for review in a single column format, which is available for LaTeX (use the “manuscript” call to create a single column format) and Word.

Word users: if the typefaces are not showing up correctly, be sure you have installed the fonts included in the ACM template download. 

Overleaf authors: Authors using the Overleaf platform can use the templates provided within Overleaf. Papers should be converted to PDF before submission. 

Note 1: Please use inclusive language throughout your papers. Some commonly-used charged terminology and alternative suggestions can be found at: Please avoid using gendered language, ableist language, and racialized terminology.

Note 2: You are asked to provide alt-text descriptions for all figures in your submission. Writing good descriptive text is important, so please look at for guidance and examples.


The submission video should cover the same topics as the extended abstract described above. Particular emphasis should be placed on motivating and situating your research, and in clearly stating your research questions. Since this is a visual medium, excellent submissions will find ways of showing important points rather than simply explaining them verbally.

The video must be no longer than 5 minutes in length. Please make sure that your video is playable on standard PC and Macintosh computers. We recommend that you encode your video as an MP4 using the H.264 codec.

It is essential for you to ensure that your submission is complete and in accordance with the format and content guidelines described above. Because the Doctoral Consortium Committee expects to receive a large number of applications, submissions that do not meet these requirements will be returned without review.

Doctoral Consortium papers and videos are archived in the ACM Digital Library in the CHI PLAY 2021 Extended Abstracts.




The proposals will be evaluated by the DC chairs.

Review and acceptance decisions will balance several factors. These will depend on the quality of the proposal, and where you are within your doctoral education program. The group will be selected to exhibit a diversity of backgrounds and topics. Therefore, we are unlikely to accept more than two students from the same institution and almost certainly will not accept more than one student with the same advisor. To help the greatest number of students, attendees from previous CHI PLAY doctoral consortium are discouraged from applying. To attend a second CHI PLAY doctoral consortium, participants should make it clear how the second doctoral consortium would benefit them in a different way.

Confidentiality of submissions is maintained during the review process. All rejected submissions will be kept confidential in perpetuity. All submitted materials for accepted submissions will be kept confidential until the start of the conference.


Decisions will be sent on August 20, 2021. Authors of accepted submissions will receive instructions on how to submit a camera-ready copy, information about attending the Doctoral Consortium events before and during the conference, and about preparing the final version of their video. Authors will retain copyright to their submission. Obtaining permissions to use video, audio, or pictures of identifiable people or proprietary content rests with the author, not the ACM or the CHI PLAY conference. 

Doctoral Consortium papers and videos are archived in the ACM Digital Library in the CHI PLAY 2021 Extended Abstracts.


Given that the conference is online, the DC is structured in sessions before and during the conference to maximize the amount of feedback that students will receive on their work. 

Session 1: Students Peer Review 

Shortly after the notification process is done, students will be assigned in groups with other students of similar topics. Students will be asked to get together in their group to watch the videos submitted by all participants together. Students will record critical, specific, and actionable feedback. After each video, students will collectively decide their top three pieces of feedback for the student in question. This feedback will be collected across all groups, and shared with that student. Students may schedule this meeting at their convenience between August 20 and September 15, 2021.  

Session 2: Mentor Meetings

Senior mentors (professors in the field) will be assigned such that each mentor will have two students to mentor. Senior mentors will be selected by the DC Chairs based on their expertise of the student topics in question. 

Session 2 is then structured as small group meetings with approximately five participants: two mentors and three students per group. One of the mentors will be a DC chair, and the other is the selected mentor. As far as possible, groups will be assigned such that they can meet together synchronously, taking time zones and schedules into account.

Through this session, students will meet with their mentors to receive feedback on their papers and videos. This meeting will be one hour in length, and will be scheduled between September 20 and October 5, 2021.

Based on these meetings, participants are expected to update their video, taking into account feedback received from mentors and peers. This revised video will be presented at the conference.

Session 3: DC Session During the Conference

Students will also present their final video and engage in live Q&A in a special session at the main conference. This session will be scheduled during conference time. Information on format etc. will be sent after acceptance. 

Questions? Please contact the Doctoral Consortium Chairs at email