The Interactivity track is an opportunity for researchers, designers and artists within the wider CHI PLAY community to showcase their work in a hands-on setting with conference attendees to explore and discuss the opportunities and possibilities of these systems. We are looking for submissions that push the boundaries of playful human-computer interaction through technical advancement, innovative interaction concepts, or stimulate artistic and critical reflection through design. Each submission to this track consists of a live artifact (playable game, interactive installation, tangible interface, etcetera) to be demonstrated at the conference along with an extended abstract and a teaser video submission that describe the system. Systems submitted to this track can be in beta or demo stages, but need to be running stable enough for live presentation and exploration by conference attendees. 

The Interactivity track offers several formats for live showcasing of the system in the CHI PLAY virtual conference, as summarized below under “Presentation formats”. Authors are invited to state their preference for one of these formats during submission in PCS, but we are also open to proposals for other accessible formats of live interactivity presentations in a virtual conference.

Important dates

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

July 16, 2021 Interactivity submission deadline (extended abstract and teaser video)
August 20, 2021 Decisions sent to authors
September 10, 2021 Camera-ready submission deadline, including extended abstract, teaser video  and
walkthrough video


  • All deadlines are 23:59 Anywhere on Earth (AoE)
  • Up to 8 pages (references excluded) in ACM Primary Article Template
  • 2-3 minute teaser video
  • Submissions (max 100MB total) must be made to CHI PLAY 2021 using the Precision Conference System (PCS)
  • Submissions are not ANONYMOUS
  • Upon acceptance, authors are expected to deliver a demonstration at the conference and are requested to indicate their initial preference for a presentation format 
  • Upon acceptance, authors are expected to provide a walkthrough video in addition to the teaser video, focused on showing the user interaction in detail

Submissions may for example make a contribution to our understanding of how humans interact with playful technologies or provide a novel experience that engages conference attendees and stimulates conversation.

  • Paper submission. Up to 8 pages in the ACM Primary Article Template, excluding references, for review purposes and for inclusion in the ACM Digital Library. Submissions discuss related research to an appropriate level of detail and are expected to provide a description and reflection on the expected experience. Please do NOT anonymize your submission.

    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”.


  • Teaser video. A two to three minute teaser video to introduce your system, for review purposes and for inclusion in the ACM Digital Library.  Please refer to the video guidelines for more details about the accepted video formats.  Please do NOT anonymize your submission.


  • Description of preferred presentation format. At submission, the author indicate briefly their preferred presentation format (see below).


Walkthrough video (only upon acceptance). A three to five minute video demonstrating your system, and showcases how users interact with it, detailing the expected experience.  Please refer to the video guidelines for more details about the accepted video formats.  

The video has to be submitted only at the camera ready stage and will be used as backup presentation material, for sharing in social media, and as a source for discussion during the conference. For some submissions, a TwitchTV style presentation format might work well, but authors may decide upon their own preferred format for the video.

Presentation formats

There are many ways in which an interactive experience can be shared between presenter and audience during a virtual conference. Here we provide a few example formats. We encourage authors to explore these and other options. 

Upon submission, authors indicate their preferred format. Upon acceptance, the track chairs will engage with the authors to find the best possible, yet feasible options to deliver a virtual interactivity experience.

The basic format of the interactivity session is one in which the presenter shares a teleconferencing room with a medium sized audience. They showcase their work in as interactive a manner as possible, while interacting with the audience. A typical presentation is expected to take ~10 minutes, but this may also depend on the particular system and experience (to be discussed with the Interactivity chairs upon acceptance).

Remote controlled confederate: physical setups that cannot be screen-shared. Systems that require a physical setup (tangible interfaces; room sized playgrounds; wearable systems, etc.) cannot be played by anyone but the authors and their local confederates. Such systems can be showcased by having a confederate play with the setup; show a live video stream of their play from a fixed camera view point or by having a camera person follow the confederate while they interact with the system. While this video stream is shown in the interactivity presentation session, the author can explain and comment upon what we see and answer questions from the rest of the audience. Audience members can also request the confederate to take certain actions or try out certain things in order to get a little bit closer to some kind of a vicarious interactive experience.

Vicarious first time play experience: browser based or easy download. During the interactivity session, audience members are invited to play with the interactive system in alternation, sharing their screen while doing so, while the presenter explains what we see, answers questions from the rest of the audience, and comments on the player’s possible thinking-out-loud responses. 

Vicarious first time play experience: complex, heavy or hard to set up systems. In preparation for the interactivity session, (self-)selected conference attendants are invited to prepare for showcasing one of the interactivity submissions by downloading and installing the setup (provided their system meets the minimal requirements). During the session, these volunteers will play with the interactive system, sharing their screen while doing so, while the presenter explains what we see, answers questions from the audience, and comments on the player’s possible thinking-out-loud responses. 

Multiplayer experiences in 3rd party view. Some interactivity submissions might be a multiplayer experience. Confederates, or possibly (self) selected conference participants, can prepare by installing the system on their own machines; during the interactivity session; the presenter could then screen-share a 3rd party or birds eye view of the multiplayer game space. This allows the audience to see the actions of various players in context, or, alternately, the author could share the 1st person perspective of one player only in a screen share. In either case, the presenter can explain what we see, answer questions from the audience, and comment on the players’ possible thinking-out-loud responses.

Fallback: playthrough video with live comments by presenter. If the live experience breaks down, fails to install for the audience, or does not work for other reasons, the playthrough video will be shown (possibly looped) in the meeting room and the presenter can provide live comments and/or engage with audience questions while the video runs.


Papers: 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.

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.

More information for writing accessible papers can be found at the CHI 2021 guidelines:  

Videos: For accessibility guidelines for videos please refer to the video guidelines 

Review Process

Interactivity submissions will be juried. All identifying information about authors must NOT be anonymized before submission.

Upon Acceptance

Authors of accepted submissions will be expected to attend the virtual conference and showcase their system in a virtual presentation format as described above.

During the Conference

Upon acceptance, all submissions must be presented during the conference. Above we described possible presentation formats that may be used. We will work with authors of accepted submissions to arrive at an optimal section of presentation formats for each interactivity submission (this may vary based on the types of materials submitted). 

After the Conference

Interactivity papers and the 2-3 minute teaser videos are archived in the ACM Digital Library in the CHI PLAY 2021 Extended Abstracts.

Please direct any questions to