2nd Workshop on


in Digital Games

@ The Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) Conference, 2024

Important dates

Submission Deadline: Sunday March 24, 2024 AoE

Notification: April 4, 2024

Camera Ready (including rights forms and TAPS) : April 19, 2024

Workshop date: May 21, 2024

About the workshop
(2-5pm, Campus Center Taylor Room, in-person only)


The concept of eudaimonia in the study of video games has been the subject of increasing interest in recent years, especially as juxtaposed to the idea of hedonia which is often assumed as lying at the heart of most video game play experiences. However, there is a lack of consensus on what eudaimonia exactly is, how it manifests in the player experience, and what effect it could have on the emotional experience of game play.

Building on a successful 1st year at last year's FDG'23, this workshop seeks to bring together researchers from across a broad range of games research fields, such as those represented at FDG. We will discuss this emerging and important concept and potentially create a cross-disciplinary research agenda for delving deeper into how this foundational concept of wellbeing can be applied within the field of digital games.

Background and Motivation

Digital games like Gears of War, Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty evidently provide a different kind of emotional experience to games, such as Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Papers, Please and Journey. However, we stumble when we attempt to articulate exactly what that difference is. 

One area that provides promise are the ideas of hedonia and eudaimonia from positive psychology, as applied to media entertainment. Media research has explored the ideas of hedonistic vs. eudaimonic entertainment as a means for understanding why viewers purposefully view ‘difficult’ films that do not necessarily give pleasure as it is commonly understood. 

Until recently, most games-related research focused on the hedonic gameplay experience. However, eudaimonia in video games is a growing field. Recent work has posited the idea of a ‘eudaimonic gameplay experience’ as applied to digital games, to distinguish it from the ‘eudaimonic entertainment experience’ as applied to film and moving image.

However, the eudaimonic emotional experience obtained from digital games remains difficult to accurately describe and ‘pin down’. Whilst there are areas of commonality, there still exists a wide range of interpretations and understandings of the concept. Not only this, but much discussion is focused within the domains of psychology and media and communication studies, and less in other areas that could contribute and benefit such as artificial intelligence (AI), HCI, humanities art and design or other fields. 

We therefore propose a workshop to bring together a wide range of academics – such as is represented at FDG, to share and discuss their own understandings and usages of the concept. We hope this will provide a stimulus not only for discussion, but for new lines of research, and providing a benchmark moment in the history of the concept of eudaimonia within digital games.


This workshop aims to:

The overall vision for the workshop is that researchers from a wide range of fields come together to share and discuss their own take on eudaimonia and, in doing so, inspire and educate those in different fields to  themselves in a reciprocal fashion.

Organising committee

Tom Cole
Lecturer in Games Development
University of Greenwich, UK

Tom's research explores how we can broaden and deepen emotional engagement in digital games, with an emphasis on rules, mechanics, systems and control schemes. In particular he is interested in the eudaimonic, mixed-affect emotional experience that can arise from game play, and specialises in the use of Grounded Theory Methodology for his research. 

Alena Denisova
Lecturer in Computer Science
University of York, UK

Alena's research focuses on conceptualising, measuring and improving user experiences of video game players; designing and developing tools and methods for researching interactive experiences; and building educational and persuasive interactive media. In particular, her work explores emotionally impactful player experiences – how these experiences are shaped with the view to inform the design of games that promote these experiences.

Jo Iacovides
Senior Lecturer in HCI
University of York, UK

Jo's research interests lie in Human Computer Interaction with a particular focus on understanding the role of learning within the player experience, and on investigating complex emotional experiences in the context of digital play. In addition, she is interested in exploring how games and playful technologies can created for a range of purposes, such as education, citizen science, or wellbeing.