A brief guide for mentors at time-constrained creative events.

I’ve mentored and judged at several hackathons and game jams in Southern Ontario, Canada in the last 3 years and the role of the mentor is often convoluded and self-defined which can cause some confusion and doubt.

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An in-person University of Waterloo Game Jam.

Hackathon mentors are experienced individuals who are often invited to volunteer a few hours of their time to support hackathon teams (hackers) to have a meaningful hackathon experience. …

Takeaways from a participant perspective.

I started playing Beat Saber last month on my partner’s Oculus Rift and beat my first song on hard (League of Legend’s KDA) after hours of frustration. I then joked it was probably possible to pay off the expensive VR headset strictly through remuneration from remote VR studies at universities. A couple of weeks later, I had participated in 6 VR studies of varying lengths and the headset was ~46% paid off in Amazon giftcards. Through this curious endeavour, I intimately developed an understanding of the remote participant experience where I often found myself as an ad-hoc research assistant.

The main difference between in-lab and remote studies is that the researcher loses control of the physical space, and they can no longer point to buttons of interest, direct the participant by tapping their arm, or personally adjust hardware. Instead, they must rely on the participant to self-direct and the participant inevitably becomes the research assistant, learning vocabulary, calibrating set-up, and managing collected data. The researcher must prepare the participant to fill that role. …


Tina Chan

Writing about Games User Experience Research, Mental Health, and Social Entrepreneurship.

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