Tiltfactor Summer Game Research

Even in the summer months research doesn’t stop at Tiltfactor! We’re currently conducting game research at the Salt Hill Pub in Hanover and studying how party games are played.

Once concluded, the findings from these studies at Salt Hill Pub will join other papers and journal articles on our research, such as our recent papers on POX: Save the People and Buffalo the name dropping game. These studies, through illuminating the way individuals perceive and think about non-digital and digital media, can be, already have been, applied to gaming.


Tiltfactor’s award-winning game POX: Save the People, which was created as a game to increase positive attitudes toward vaccines, became available on iPads in addition to its original board game form in 2011. Game research on POX, where we asked participants to play either the board game or the iPad version and then compared their experiences, led to our paper published in the Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems and subsequently featured in places like Psychology Today. These game studies helped us to investigate how technology impacts perception and comprehension.


In our party card game Buffalo the name dropping game, players race to shout out the names of real people or fictional characters that match cards like “British” and “Wizard.” Buffalo was created to reduce players’ prejudices, and in a game study where Buffalo players were told either that the game was about “Pop culture knowledge” or “Pop culture stereotypes”, we found that players who were told the game’s true purpose showed less prejudice reduction than players who thought it was just a trivia game. This research led to our paper on how “embedding” (or hiding) a game’s purpose can make the game more effective! Much like POX, research showed that Buffalo has subtle but important impacts on its players’ attitudes.

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Game research helps shed light on how human processes, attitudes and behaviors can be altered, and also helps us understand the impact that popular media has on our society. But we can’t study games without your help! Participants tell us that playing games as part of Tiltfactor’s research is a blast. Sound like fun? Sign up for our mailing list to be given chances to participate in our game studies. Even better, if you’re in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire/Vermont, sign up for one of our party game testing sessions at the Salt Hill Pub on Thursday August 18th and come get paid to play games! There are only a few open spots remaining, so if interested, please sign up at http://tinyurl.com/salthill.