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    Full Synopsis

    People and Computers XXIV Games are a Serious Business

    Proceedings of HCI 2010
    The 24th British HCI Group Annual Conference
    University of Abertay, Dundee, UK

    6 - 10 September 2010

    Welcome to the proceedings of the 24th BCS Interaction Specialist Group conference on People and Computers, held at the University of Abertay, Dundee, Sept 6-10, 2010. Our theme was "Games are a serious business", reflecting the successful interaction industry of our host city.

    Within these proceedings is a record of the double-blind peer-reviewed academic content of the conference, the necessary and the sufficient. We have added four industrial papers, both in tribute to the quality of the work and of the importance our conference places on industrial involvement. Consistent with our traditions, the other (and substantial) additional content of the conference, the workshops, the tutorials, the networking opportunities and the entertainment, must find their own way into the archive. However, we are supporting, for example, workshop organisers to have their own location in eWiC to include their participants' contributions.

    There are many ways that these papers could be presented to you, and we have had the luxury of reflection, of seeing the presentations, and making the unexpected links within, and between, sessions. We’ve been a party to the discussions and debates that ran deep into the evening and continued after the conference through various social networking channels and within our own institutions. We've seen the bloggers' reviews and the write-ups in usabilitynews.com.

    We conclude that the current state of HCI is an amazing topology of interlinked topics and techniques, with ideas bouncing between and across other domains. What was once the struggle to identify and encourage the adoption of good practice, has grown into a massive multiplayer game, a global endeavour that makes vast forests of business and commerce possible and viable, and that potentially empowers and sustainably enables the disadvantaged in every society. The game has indeed become a serious business.

    You will notice that, as in our other recent conferences, only a minority of papers link directly to the annual theme. This is a strength of the conference; we mean it in the small print of CFP, when annually we state that "we will accept work in any other aspect of HCI". You will further note a wide, yet still manageable, range of HCI topics covered here, a range that emerges each year without intelligent design, but by the Darwinian instincts of our reviewers.

    We are indebted to the 2009 chair, Alan Blackwell, for his accomplishment in revitalising our pool of international reviewers. 167 reviewers returned reviews, 120 of whom are UK-based. Overall 33 countries are represented in this conference, either as reviewers or authors. Out of almost 500 reviews, we had cause to reject less than 1% of reviews as being cursory or incompetent. We thank our reviewers for both the volume and the quality of their work.

    This year, your organising committee sought to swing the pendulum back in favour of trusting the combined judgment of the reviewers rather than prolonged committee discussion to make the final selection decisions. BCS Interaction SG welcomes your feedback on the effectiveness of this.

    Conference Introduction