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Recent alumnus Daniel Madden received an honorable mention paper award at the prestigious CHI Conference. The work is based on his thesis completed in Spring 2020. We had the opportunity to catch up with Daniel to learn more about this prestigious award and his experience as a graduate student at Northeastern.

Why did you choose to attend Northeastern for Graduate School? 

I am local to Massachusetts and have spent my whole life here. I especially love the city of Boston. When I began to research graduate schools, Northeastern was featured in multiple online articles and had great reviews. Looking more closely, the diverse curriculum provided areas to really dive into something new and explore new areas of thinking. Factor in its location, and it was really a no brainer for me! 

Why did you pursue Video Game Science and Design?

I am someone who has always loved playing video games, or games of any variety really. I have especially been interested in the explosive growth of esports around the world too. I wanted to work in design and make games, so I chose the degree. But when I got to the university, I found that I was more interested in research as it provided a productive channel for my curiosity to explore. 

Are you working on any studies or projects in the future that you’re excited about? Can you share some details? 

As of right now, I have ideas for future studies expanding on work I’ve done as a graduate student. I was a part of a team that researched Gender Bias in esports, exploring why it persists and how it impacts participation. We plan to take this a step further and continue documenting diverse experiences within esports. As for my paper on health in esports, I would like to continue exploring major health concerns, but also focus more on solutions. I would love to examine best practices to help players manage their health moving forward. 

Tell us about your Honorable Mention Paper Award at the CHI Conference! 

My current paper at the CHI conference was a two-part study investigating health among esports players. This began as my thesis for graduation, but I continued to work on it throughout last year in preparation for the conference. When I began, I noted there was little research examining player health within esports. I believe this was an important gap that needed filling, so I developed interview and survey studies to ask players about their health. There was a great range of willing participants who were happy to share their stories. Through it, we were able to see health concerns players had, but we also found potential tools that could be adapted to help these players mitigate the negative health effects. I think that is the big takeaway from the paper: players have health concerns, but we have the tools to address the issue if we focus on it in the future. 

What was a rewarding/impactful experience from your time at Northeastern?

One thing that stood out to me was the collaborative nature of the work. Besides my thesis, every project was done in collaboration with other curious minded people. Everyone I collaborated with had a different background or perspective on problems and solutions that really allowed me to grow as a learner. 

Anything else?

It isn’t related to me, but shout out to the Women’s Ice Hockey team for reaching the national championship this year! Hell of a game and a hell of a team!

Click here to learn more about his Honorable Mention.