As an ACM SIGCHI-sponsored conference, CHI PLAY welcomes contributions that further an understanding of the player experience, as well as contributions on novel designs or implementations of player-computer interactions, and contributions to theory. We invite contributions to CHI PLAY across a variety of research techniques, methods, approaches, and domains, including, but not limited to:

  • Playful interactions and new game mechanics
  • Innovative implementation techniques that affect player experiences
  • Studies of applied games and player experiences (e.g., games and play for health, wellbeing, and learning)
  • Accessible and inclusive design and player experiences
  • Esports, live streaming, and spectator experiences
  • Advances in game user research and game evaluation methods
  • Psychology of players and typologies of games and players
  • Gamification, persuasive games, and motivational design
  • Virtual and augmented reality in games and play
  • Novel controls, input or display technologies for games and play
  • Tools for game creation
  • Theoretical contributions on play and games
  • Innovations to advance the work of game designers and developers
  • Game analytics and novel visualizations of player experiences
  • Developer experiences and studies of developers
  • Industry case studies

CHI PLAY welcomes contributions on the effects of various technologies, software, or algorithms on player experiences. Technical contributions without impact on players or game designers and developers are not within the scope of CHI PLAY. The conference invites submissions to the following tracks: Full Papers, Interactivity, Work in Progress, and Rapid Communications. Additionally, students are invited to submit to the Student Game Design Competition and the Doctoral Consortium.


Starting this year, CHI PLAY 2021 full papers will be published in the ACM Journal PACMHCI. Please see the announcement  for more details.

Papers submitted to CHI PLAY 2021 will receive one of four decisions: Accept, Minor Revision, Major Revision, and Reject. If asked for major or minor revisions, authors will have 6 weeks to implement them and submit to a second round of review from the same associate chairs and external reviewers.

No minimum or maximum page length is imposed on papers. Rather, reviewers will be instructed to weigh the contribution of a paper relative to its length.

Typical papers are under 8,500 words. We particularly welcome short papers on a focused contribution.  

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”.

Important dates

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

February 17, 2021Full (journal) papers submission deadline
April 21, 2021Notifications given (accept/minor/major/reject) 
June 2, 2021Revisions due
July 7, 2021Final notifications given
August 10, 2021Camera ready deadline

CHI PLAY is the premier international venue for research in interactive games and play. We invite authors to submit their best research on all topics relevant to interactive play. Papers will receive a minimum of three reviews and be handled by an Associate Chair (AC), who will provide a meta-review. Accepted papers will be published in the October 2021 issue of the Proceedings of the ACM on Human Computer Interaction (PACMHCI). 


CHI PLAY 2021 is using the Precision Conference System (PCS) 2.0 and authors need to choose “CHI PLAY 2021” as the conference, and “CHI PLAY 2021: Full Papers” as track:

Authors submitting papers for peer-review to ACM publications must comply with the SIGCHI Submission and Review Policy including, but not limited to: That the paper submitted is original, that the listed authors are the creators of the work, that each author is aware of the submission and that they are listed as an author, and that the paper is an honest representation of the underlying work. That the work submitted is not currently under review at any other publication venue, and that it will not be submitted to another venue unless it has been rejected or withdrawn from this venue. For information about re-publication in English of work previously published in another language, please refer to section 1.5.4 of the ACM SIGCHI policy:

Confidentiality of submitted material will be maintained. Upon acceptance, the titles, authorship, and abstracts of papers will be used in the Advance Program. Submissions should contain no information or material that is or will be proprietary and/or confidential at the time of publication and should cite no publication that will be proprietary or confidential at that time. Final versions of accepted papers must be formatted according to detailed instructions provided by the publisher. Copyright release forms must be signed for inclusion in the PACM HCI and the ACM Digital Library.

The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM Digital Library. This date may be up to two weeks prior to the first day of your conference. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work. (For those rare conferences whose proceedings are published in the ACM Digital Library after the conference is over, the official publication date remains the first day of the conference.)


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. Authors can use the settings \documentclass[manuscript, review, anonymous]{acmart} to remove author information and add line numbers for the review process.

No minimum or maximum length is imposed on papers. Rather, reviewers will be instructed to weigh the contribution of a paper relative to its length. Typical papers are under 8,500 words.

Note 1: Valuable but concise contributions are welcome as short papers. Shorter, more focused papers will be reviewed with the expectation of a small, focused contribution. Papers whose length is incommensurate with their contribution will be rejected.

Note 2: 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 3: 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.


Papers are subject to anonymous reviewing. Submissions must have authors’ names and affiliations removed, and avoid obvious identifying statements. Any grant information that identifies the author(s) and their institution should be removed as well. Papers that violate this policy will be desk rejected. Please check in particular the front page, headers and footers, and the Acknowledgement section. Also, check the meta information in papers prepared using Word. 

Citations to authors’ own relevant work should not be anonymous, but rather should be done without identifying the authors. For example, “Prior work by [authors]” instead of “In our prior work.”

CHI PLAY does not have a policy against uploading preprints to SSRN or arXiv before they are submitted for review at the conference.


CHI PLAY will be returning submissions to the primary contact author with one of the following decisions, along with the reviews, after the first review cycle:

Accept: Submissions that receive this decision are ready or nearly ready for publication , though they may require a few small changes. The final version of the paper must be submitted by the camera-ready deadline for verification by the corresponding associate chair. 

Minor revision: Submissions that receive this decision will require some revisions before being accepted for publication. The revised submission must be submitted at the revision deadline, along with a brief response to the reviewers’ comments. The revision will be verified by the corresponding associate chair in collaboration with the external reviewers, and if approved, the submission will be promoted to an accepted paper.

Major revision: Submissions that receive this decision have real potential, but will require major portions rewritten or redone, and then re-reviewed. Authors should submit their revised manuscript at the revision deadline, along with a letter explaining how they addressed the reviewers’ comments and incorporated changes in the revision. To the extent possible, resubmissions will be assigned the same Associate Chair and reviewers for re-review.

Reject: Submissions that receive this decision have been determined to be not acceptable in their current form and also not able to complete the needed revisions within the 6-week revision period. Rejected papers are not able to submit a revision to CHI PLAY 2021.

Desk / Quick Reject: Authors should only submit completed work of publishable quality and within the scope of ACM CHI PLAY. The ACs and Editors may Quick Reject any submission that they believe has little chance of being accepted if it goes through the peer review process. Incomplete or otherwise inappropriate submissions will be desk rejected without review.


When uploading the paper to the PCS reviewing system, authors will be able to indicate the primary and secondary contribution type of their paper for appropriate reviewer assignment:

  • Empirical-Qualitative, e.g., ethnography, qualitative user studies.
  • Empirical-Quantitative, e.g., quantitative user studies, statistical methods, data modeling.
  • Empirical-Mixed Methods, e.g., combined qualitative and quantitative empirical research.
  • Artefact-Technical, e.g., building novel systems, algorithms, visualizations, architectures, implementing novel features in existing systems.
  • Artefact-Design, e.g., research through design, envisionments, guidelines, methods, techniques.
  • Theoretical, e.g., conceptual frameworks, theory underpinning CHI PLAY studies/domains, theoretical analysis, and essays.
  • Meta-Research, e.g., meta-analyses, systematic reviews


Authors are encouraged to submit supplementary material when possible and when aligned with their methods. Authors are encouraged to submit links to preregistrations on the Open Science Framework (OSF) when appropriate for their work. Authors are also encouraged to use open access repositories and make their data and other material FAIR when appropriate for their work. Authors are encouraged to describe efforts to make their work more reproducible. Reviewers are encouraged to support evolving approaches to supporting open and transparent research practices.


Video figures are strongly recommended for submissions that draw from custom-built games or systems that are not freely available (e.g., novel systems, interaction techniques, game designs, mechanics, or envisionments). Figures should showcase the game or system comprehensively (i.e., demonstrate core game mechanics or offer a playthrough) so that reviewers can explore all relevant aspects. Please note that this applies to submissions that contribute systems (i.e., artifacts) and those that study systems (i.e., empirical work). Generally, authors of all papers should consider submitting a video that illustrates their work as part of the submission if appropriate. Videos should be no more than three minutes long. 


Accepted papers are invited to present at the conference in October 2021, and authors can choose whether or not they wish to present. Presenting at the conference is strongly recommended but not required.

Questions? Please contact the Paper Chairs at email


For those authors with full papers accepted to CHI PLAY 2021, the papers will be processed by Sheridan Communications and will appear in an upcoming issue of the PACM Journal. 

  • The final article preparation instructions can be seen here:  Please note that the process is slightly different this year, as we are publishing in the journal PACM, and not in a conference proceedings. 
  • By August 10th, 2021, you need to prepare a final version of the paper. Please use your reviews to fix any identified typos and carefully proof the entire paper. This is a hard deadline.  Failing to upload your paper by this time will result in your paper being excluded from the PACM journal and from the conference presentations. 
  • The template for preparing your final submission can be downloaded from:
  • By August 10th, 2021, your paper should be de-anonymized for publication—with authors listed, acknowledgements present, etc.  
  • The final submission form on PCS will enable you to upload a video and auxiliary files for your paper which will be included with your paper in the ACM Digital Library. We encourage you to use these options.
  • You can expect Sheridan staff to send you 2 emails; 1 from ACM publications rightreview and 1 from Sheridan Communication to upload/submit the final version. Please respond to these emails in a timely manner. 

Contrary to previous years, you are not required to present your paper at the CHI PLAY conference.  We do encourage authors of all accepted papers to participate in the conference as the visibility of the conference presentation and the resulting discussion will benefit both your paper and the development of the field. Further, we anticipate that presentations will be archived on the SIGCHI YouTube channel, which offers greater visibility for your contribution.