The Games User Research community has always been very open, cooperative and is full of people who dedicate their personal time to helping the community. There can be challenges caused by working in an industry where NDAs and secrets are important, but despite this the community has put a lot of effort into maintaining an open and cooperative community.
This manifests itself in a lot of ways, through lots of hard work put in by volunteers all across the community. In this post, I’d like to share some of these resources that the community has created, which are all an invaluable source of information for new and veteran games user researchers.
The community is most active on the Gamers User Research – Special Interest Group LinkedIn group. You need to request access (it’s for developers, user researchers, and academics), however once granted you’ll find an engaged community ready to help out with any questions or discussions on games user research. It is the first place I’d recommend anyone new to the field to start, and is the one place you can find updates on the community and what everyone else is working on.
The GUR-SIG also runs a successful conference series, the Games User Research Summit in San Francisco. Timed each year with GDC, it is an annual event where practictioners can meet up, share knowledge, host panels and workshops, and network. It is a great opportunity to meet other people in the field, find out who is hiring, and learn a lot – all in one day! We’re looking at expanding the conference to Europe next year, so if San Francisco is too far away, keep your eyes peeled.
As a tech-focused industry, the community is also very active on twitter. Each week @GamesUR produces an informative update on all the articles shared that week on Games User Research, and the #gamesUR hastag is the most common one used by the community, so is a great place to follow to find other researchers.
Each year, the videos from the GUR Summit have been archived on a vimeo page. This is a great resource for all levels of practioners, as talks range from Games User Research 101 to advanced testing methodologies. Unfortunately, the videos from 2014 seem to have gone AWOL, but I imagine they will be up their when available.
Ben Lile, and other members of the GUR Community have also collated a lot of relevent games user research publications, on a mendeley library. Almost everything published on the web by the community in the last 10 years is referenced on these pages, but it also relies on community members to add and update it as new references are available.
David Sinclair from Bungie has put a lot of effort into maintaining a list of game companies that hire UX people, the roles they offer, and links to their job pages. This resource is invaluable for someone trying to find their first role in the industry.
One of the most important recommendations I can make for someone in the industry is to become an active member of the community. GUR is a relatively new field, and so we have the rare chance to define the future of the industry, and this is encouraged by the open and collaborative community.
I imagine I’ve missed off some awesome resources, so please comment below if you have any more!