Playable Data

In this project we’re exploring the intersection between information graphics and games by examining how to embed meaningful visual analytic interactions into game mechanics that in turn impact user behavior around the graphic. In contrast to other methods of narrative visualization, games provide an alternate method for structuring a story, not bound by a linear arrangement but still providing structure via rules, goals, and mechanics of play. We designed two different versions of a game-y infographic (as well as a non-game-y version) called Salubrious Nation. We compared the different versions in an online experiment to assess relative merits of the game-y presentation of data in terms of exploration of the visualization, insights and learning, and enjoyment. See the paper below for all of the details and a discussion of the challenges and opportunities in this design space.


N. Diakopoulos, F. Kivran-Swaine, M. Naaman. Playable Data: Characterizing the Design Space of Game-y Infographics. Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). May, 2011. [PDF]

N. Diakopoulos. Design Challenges in Playable Data. CHI Workshop on Gamification. May, 2011. [PDF]

N. Diakopoulos. Game-y Information Graphics. Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) Works in Progress. April, 2010. [PDF]