Digital tools in modern board games

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Hybridity, Boardgames, Digitisation, Human-computer interaction


This project builds on the successful project  “Examining the Digital in Hybrid Digital Boardgames” to explore and compare how boardgame designers and publishers, including app developers, and the gaming public perceive the use of hybrid tools. The goal is to provide a validated visualisation format that can meaningfully show how digital tools are used in any given game. 

The Hybrid Digital Boardgame Model identifies 41 functions of digital tools, which are classified into 8 domains : timing, randomising, housekeeping, informing, storytelling, remembering, calculating, and  teaching.

We will examine how game industry professionals describe the digital tools that they use and compare this to players’ perceptions. For example, are scripted storytelling events perceived  as random events by players ?

We will explore methods and guidelines to quantify and visualise the use of these tools. The visualisations can be used to educate and inform consumers about the game and  to inform designers throughout the design process.

Project leader

Melissa Rogerson

Melissa Rogerson 

Dr Melissa Rogerson is an Early Career Researcher and member of the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) group in the School of Computing and Information Systems at The University of Melbourne. She  is currently employed as a Lecturer, teaching at graduate and undergraduate level. Her expertise lies  at the intersection of Game Studies and Human-Computer Interactions (HCI). A principal focus of her  research, which formed the basis of her PhD dissertation, is understanding the play experience of  modern boardgames. Her research focuses on the use of digital tools in tabletop gaming and in the  materiality of tabletop play. Her contribution to knowledge is in understanding the situated  interactions between people and objects, and in understanding the way that hobbyists engage  passionately with a hobby. Melissa is a sought-after commentator on boardgames and games research and is a member of the Steering Committee for Melbourne International Games Week. She has been  interviewed by the media on more than seventy occasions since commencing her research at The  University of Melbourne in 2014.  


Short presentation