David Gundry

David Gundry

Using Applied Games to Motivate Speech Without Bias (Industry placement Lightspeed Research)

Eliciting linguistic data faces several difficulties such as investment of researcher time and few available participants. Because of this, many language elicitation studies have to make do with few subjects and coarse sampling rates (measured in months). It would be ideal if a game could crowd-source relevant linguistic data with frequent, short game sessions. To this end, David’s research is looking into how games shape and elicit players’ linguistic behaviour.


The established design patterns of gamification do not apply to a domain that lacks a ‘correct’ answer like language or personal beliefs and attitudes. David’s research shows how a player’s strategic goals will systematically bias data collection. It also shows how to design around this. The conclusion: The player’s choice of how to express a given datum must be strategically irrelevant in the game.

David can remember the halcyon days when he had the free time to play games. Now he’s doing a PhD and has a one-year-old. He has an background in linguistics. He loves writing expressive code and designing clever little games. He wants to show that research games can be fun, not just effective.

Home institution: York

Supervisors: Dr Sebastian Deterding, Professor Udo Kruschwitz

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