I am a Professor at the DC Labs, University of York (UK), as well as COI of Weavr and affiliated with various universities. I work with various forms of data from games and other user-facing applications in order to improve design and development of interactive digital products within the Creative Industries and beyond – and improve the user experience of these applications. On this website you will find examples of my research, design- and development work, a personal blog, links to a great number of projects and information for companies seeking consulting or scientific partners as well information for students and academic colleagues.
In brief, my research and consulting work centers on the analysis of user behavior in – and around – games and other interactive digital products, mainly within the domain of the Creative Industries and how data can be used to inform design and business. The reason I work with interactive digital experiences like games and esports is simple: They provide unprecedented access to incredibly detailed measures of behavior. Using logging technology, it is possible to capture the second-by-second interaction between user and game. This kind of precision is not possible in the real world, and provides incredible opportunities to study human behavior and how it can be affected – whether for the purposes of improving the user experience, optimizing design, facilitating learning, or monetization. One of the central challenges in this endeavor is the massive scale these kinds of behavioral data can reach, and the high degree of complexity. Imagine working with data describing thousands of actions across hundreds of variables from millions of players. Now imagine adding contextual data – demographics, UI, UX, video capture, physiological data, personality information, geographic information and much more … deriving actionable insights from such datasets requires not only analytical skills but also a deep understanding of an passion for games. I fundamentally form part of an international community of analysts in the private and academic sectors who try to derive meaning from user behavior in games, in order to inform design and development.
URL´S TO PUBLIC PROFILES
Anders Drachen, PhD, (born 1976) is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science, with Digital Creativity Labs and Weavr at the University of York (UK). Prior to that, he was an Associate Professor at the Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University (Denmark). Prior to that Associate Professor at the Playable Interactive Technologies Lab at Northeastern University (USA) and Lead Game Analyst at Game Analytics (Denmark). He also serves as COI and Lead Industry Liaison for the Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence Centre for Doctoral Research, and on a number of Special Interest Groups and Committees.
His work in games research is focused on user behavior, user experience and audience engagement and the applications of data science and Human-Computer Interaction in these domains. He also works with information systems, business intelligence and game design. His research and professional work are carried out in collaboration with companies across the Creative Industries, from big publishers to indies.
He is recognized as one of the most influential people in his domains of work and have authored over a hundred publications with international colleagues across industry and academia. He is also editor of two field-defining books in the games domain: Game Analytics – Maximizing the Value of Player Data, the first book published on business intelligence in the Creative Industries, forming a compendium of insights from more than 50 top experts in industry and research, and Games User Research, the result of a unique collaboration between more than 100 experts across industry and academia and the de facto reference in the field. His writings can also be found on the pages of trade publications such as Game Developer Magazine and Gamasutra. His research has been covered by international print and online media worldwide. Major national print and online news outlets such as Wired, New York Post and Forbes have covered his research which has attained global attention on multiple occasions. His research work has received four best paper awards and two honorable mentions at major conferences including the Eleventh Annual AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE) in 2015 and the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in 2019.
He has organized several international conferences and workshops, served on dozens of conference committees and served as a member of the board of Special Interest Groups. He collaborates with an international network of colleagues in academia and the industry, and his research is performed in collaboration with the Creative Industries. He is a regular invited speaker at industry events.
His teaching areas include game design and -development, analytics, big data, interactive media, research methods, human-computer interaction, digital media, information systems, data science, user research, statistics, software development methods and business Intelligence. He is a strong proponent of problem-based learning and actively seeks to ensure students obtain first-hand experience with the topics he teaches as well as for connecting theory and practice in applied/real-world settings. He emphasizes the role of the teacher as a facilitator of learning, rather than operating under one-way communication paradigms. He works with students worldwide on research projects and is an active partner for the Creative Industries in matchmaking students for internships and careers.
Having lived and worked on four different continents, Anders Drachen has had the mixed pleasure of fending off three shark attacks in Africa and Australia. He is also the youngest Dane in history to publish a cooking book – dedicated to ice cream.
For examples of publications, see the “Publications” section of this website.
All views expressed in this blog are strictly my own and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.