Arianna Boldi - Research Fellow, Computer Science
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ABOUT

PERSONAL DETAILS
Via Verdi 10, Torino, 10124
mapiconimg
arianna.boldi@unito.it
Hello. Welcome to my Personal and Academic profile. Here you can find a description of my research activities. Available as freelance

BIO

ABOUT ME

Since 2014, I have been dedicated to my career as a Psychologist, specializing in group and organizational dynamics. Throughout these years, I have collaborated with a diverse array of companies, groups, and organizations, serving as a consultant to facilitate their developmental journeys. Currently, I hold the position of Research Fellow at the Department of Computer Science and am advancing towards the completion of my Ph.D. at the University of Torino, in the Department of Psychology. My research primarily focuses on the intersection of technology and psychology, exploring the impact of technology on individuals, and examining how people perceive, utilize, and interact with technological tools. Additionally, I have enriched my academic experience by spending six months as a Visiting Researcher at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), under the mentorship of Prof. Max V. Birk, where I delved into various aspects of game-related research.

AREA

RESEARCH

My research is situated within the areas of Work and Organizational Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), with a special focus on video games and how leisure contexts are intertwined with work and organizational practices.

INTERESTS

RESEARCH

In these years I have been studying the usage of video games in the mental health area, and during difficult life moments in particular. I am researching on how players organize in multiplayer games, such as in First-Person Shooter. Self-tracking, behavior change and the general impact of Personal Informatics on the lives of their users is also a subject I am fond of. Finally, part of my research involves the interaction with conversational agents.

You can also download my full resume using one of the buttons below:

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RESUME

EDUCATION
  • 2010
    2013
    TURIN

    MASTER'S DEGREE

    UNIVERSITY OF TORINO

    I graduated with magna cum laude in Clinical and Community Psychology. Title of the dissertation: Three Perspectives on Organizations: Culture, Training and Innovation Process.
  • 2007
    2010
    TURIN

    BACHELOR'S DEGREE

    UNIVERSITY OF TORINO

    I graduated with magna cum laude in Neuropsychology. Title of the dissertation: Organizational aspects of Technology Transfer: a Case-Study.
ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS
  • 2019
    2023
    TURIN, ITALY

    PHD STUDENT

    UNIVERSITY OF TORINO - DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

    I am a PhD student in the Department of Psychology, at the University of Turin. I investigate in the area of Work and Organizational Psychology as well in the Human-Computer Interaction.
  • 2022
    2022
    EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS

    VISITING PHD STUDENT

    EINDHOVEN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY (TU/e)

    I am spending a three-month long period as a visiting Phd student at TU/e, Department of Industrial Design. The goal is to study the customization behaviors performed in an experimental video game and exploring how stress is perceived by e-sport professionals.
  • 2017
    2019
    ROME, ITALY

    RESEARCH PSYCHOLOGIST

    WEMOLE SRL

    I worked as a Research Psychologist for a consultancy company based in Rome, Italy. My research activities revolved around the use of Artificial Intelligence to support Human-Resource process in private and public organisations.
  • 2013
    2013
    TURIN, ITALY

    RESEARCH INTERNSHIP

    UNIVERSITY OF TORINO

    I spent a 3-months period at the University of Torino (Department of Neuroscience), working as an intern in the research area.
HONORS AND AWARDS
  • 2022
    2022
    UNIVERSITY OF PADOVA, ITALY

    BEST CONTRIBUTION AWARD

    THE 19TH NATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY OF PADOVA

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PUBLICATIONS

PUBLICATIONS LIST
12 Jul 2024

How Do People Ascribe Humanness to Chatbots? An Analysis of Real-World Human-Agent Interactions and a Theoretical Model of Humanness

International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction

Results of the study on the conversations among users and a conversational chatbot

Journal Paper Selected Rapp, A., Boldi, A., Curti, L., Perrucci, Simeoni, R. A.

How Do People Ascribe Humanness to Chatbots? An Analysis of Real-World Human-Agent Interactions and a Theoretical Model of Humanness

Rapp, A., Boldi, A., Curti, L., Perrucci, Simeoni, R. A.
Journal Paper Selected
About The Publication

A central problem in text-based chatbot research revolves around humanness: not only chatbots may reproduce fundamental aspects of being human, but also users may attribute humanlike features to chatbots. Humanness is paramount in human-chatbot conversations because it may profoundly impact the quality of the interaction: for example, when users expect that interactions with chatbots are similar to human conversations and these expectations are not met by the agent, they may easily become frustrated. This is particularly relevant in customer care, where efficient support is essential: here, unmet expectations about the chatbot’s humanlike capabilities can undermine customer satisfaction. In this article, we qualitatively analyzed 12,477 real-world exchanges with a task-based chatbot in the customer care domain, involving a total of 1,060 conversations. We conducted a single case study to define a preliminary theoretical model of humanness for chatbot technology. The study findings point to a novel conceptualization of humanness in customer-chatbot interaction, highlighting that it is multiple, contextual, modular, and dynamic. Moreover, the theoretical model that we propose explains that the kind of humanness attributed to a chatbot depends on the context in which people expect to interact, the objectives and needs that they aim to fulfill, and the cues that the chatbot exhibits: all these factors may change as the interaction evolves over time, and such changes may further affect the users’ ascriptions of humanness. Finally, we propose design implications of the model, like the need to create “context” and account for the plurality of humanness. © 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

19 Apr 2023

Collaborating with a Text-Based Chatbot: An Exploration of Real-World Collaboration Strategies Enacted during Human-Chatbot Interactions

Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Results of the study on conversations among users and a conversational chatbot

Conferences Selected Rapp, A., Boldi, A., Curti, L., Perrucci, Simeoni, R. A.

Collaborating with a Text-Based Chatbot: An Exploration of Real-World Collaboration Strategies Enacted during Human-Chatbot Interactions

Rapp, A., Boldi, A., Curti, L., Perrucci, Simeoni, R. A.
Conferences Selected
About The Publication

A central problem for chatbots in the customer care domain revolves around how people collaborate with the agent to achieve their own situated goals. The majority of the previous research, however, relied on experiments within artificial settings, rather than on observation of real-world interactions. Moreover, such research mostly analyzed users’ responses to communication breakdowns, rather than the wider collaboration strategies utilized during a conversation. In this paper, we qualitatively analyzed 12,477 real-world exchanges with a task-based chatbot using a Grounded Theory approach as a rigorous coding method to analyze the data. We identified two main aspects of collaboration, behavioral and conversational, and for each aspect we highlighted the different strategies that users perform to “work together”with the agent. These strategies may be utilized from the very beginning of the conversation or in response to misunderstandings in the course of ongoing interactions and may show different evolving dynamics. 

01 Jan 2024

Playing as the World Falls Apart: The Use of Video Games during the COVID-19 Crisis— the Case of Italy

Gaming and Gamers in Times of Pandemic

Chapter summarizing the experience of video game players during the whole period of the COVID-19 pandemic

Book Chapters Selected Boldi, A., Tirassa, M., and Rapp, A.

Playing as the World Falls Apart: The Use of Video Games during the COVID-19 Crisis— the Case of Italy

Boldi, A., Tirassa, M., and Rapp, A.
Book Chapters Selected
About The Publication
The chapter revisits the experiences of players during the pandemic and their implications for mental health. This work delves into the potential benefits that video games might have offered to Italian gamers during the pandemic. Drawing from a qualitative online survey conducted during Italy’s 2020 national lockdown, we present predominantly positive findings. Video games appear to have lessened players’ feelings of isolation and aided them in adapting to the new reality. Gamers also leveraged specific attributes of certain games for self-therapy. The chapter offers insights for future applications, highlighting the role of commercial games in enhancing mental health and guiding the design of serious health-related games.
01 Oct 2023

Methodological Challenges, Risks, and Ethical Implications in Game Research

CHI PLAY 2023

Workshop conducted at the Annual Symposium of Computer-Human Interaction in Play, at Stratford, Canada

Conferences Selected Boldi, A., Cho, S., Kou Y., Rapp, A., and Birk, M.V.

Methodological Challenges, Risks, and Ethical Implications in Game Research

Boldi, A., Cho, S., Kou Y., Rapp, A., and Birk, M.V.
Conferences Selected
About The Publication
Researcher protection is a growing concern within game research. Researchers who investigate game communities are subject to online harassment, exacerbating the lack of information available in preparation for academic work. In this workshop, we invite researchers to share their experiences and thoughts on methodological challenges and risks that they faced or anticipate facing.
01 Dec 2023

Making sense of the pandemic: Multiple functions of commercial video games during one year and a half of COVID-19 crisis

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies

Follow-up on the study conducted during the pandemic on the use of videogames and their effects.

Journal Paper Selected Boldi, A., and Rapp, A.

Making sense of the pandemic: Multiple functions of commercial video games during one year and a half of COVID-19 crisis

Boldi, A., and Rapp, A.
Journal Paper Selected
About The Publication

The outbreak of the COVID-19 has made apparent the importance of gaming technologies during crises and difficult life moments. However, studies exploring the role of commercial off-the-shelf video games during the pandemic are still limited. Moreover, research often focuses on a specific moment of the crisis. In this article, we investigate how playing commercial video games impacts on how players manage and understand the COVID-19 pandemic considered in its temporal evolution. We conducted a one-year-and-a-half longitudinal qualitative study by interviewing 16 participants who were living in Italy during the first pandemic lockdown, then involving a subgroup of them (N = 10) in a follow-up interview. Study findings show that playing not only supported escapism from a difficult reality, but also helped individuals counteract the sense of detachment from the “pandemic world”, encouraging reflection and supporting sense-making. These functions of video games varied as the pandemic unfolded. Based on these findings, we present a preliminary model of the role of video game technologies during moments of crisis and suggest design considerations on how video games could support people experiencing extremely difficult life moments. 

01 Feb 2024

Exploring the impact of commercial wearable activity trackers on body awareness and body representations: A mixed-methods study on self-tracking

Computers in Human Behavior

Quasi-experimental mixed-methods study on the experiences of individuals wearing a fitness tracker for 4 months

Journal Paper Selected Boldi, A., Silacci, A., M-O., Cherubini, M., Caon, M. Zufferey, N., Huguenin, K, and Rapp, A.

Exploring the impact of commercial wearable activity trackers on body awareness and body representations: A mixed-methods study on self-tracking

Boldi, A., Silacci, A., M-O., Cherubini, M., Caon, M. Zufferey, N., Huguenin, K, and Rapp, A.
Journal Paper Selected
About The Publication

Wearable trackers are believed to enhance users’ self-knowledge, but their impact on the relationship that people have with their own bodies is relatively unexplored. This study aims to shed light on the potential of physiological data collected by a commercial wearable activity tracker to influence how users relate with their own bodies, specifically their body awareness, body image, body consciousness, and body surveillance. Additionally, the study seeks to determine whether this change in body perception improves or worsens the users’ relation with their own bodies. We recruited 321 first-time wearable users, including a control group. Participants in the experimental group (N = 225) completed a set of scales and questionnaires addressing body awareness and representations before and after wearing a Fitbit for four months, and 20 of them were further interviewed about their experience. The findings indicate that participants’ overall view of their bodies was not influenced by the device. However, the Fitbit did increase the awareness of bodily sensations, particularly for women. Moreover, we describe how participants made sense of the data displayed by the Fitbit, which was also used as an emotion-regulation tool. These results can contribute to the understanding of the impact of self-tracking technologies on the users’ perceptions of their own body and provide insights for future research in this field. © 2023 The Authors

28 Apr 2023

“Is It Legit, To You?”. An Exploration of Players’ Perceptions of Cheating in a Multiplayer Video Game: Making Sense of Uncertainty

International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction

Digital ethnography conducted in the gaming community of COD, exploring the phenomenon of cheating.

Journal Paper Selected Boldi, A., & Rapp, A.

“Is It Legit, To You?”. An Exploration of Players’ Perceptions of Cheating in a Multiplayer Video Game: Making Sense of Uncertainty

Boldi, A., & Rapp, A.
Journal Paper Selected
01 Nov 2022

ABOUT THE BLURRING OF WORK AND PLAY: ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS EMERGING IN A FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER VIDEOGAME

CSCW 2022

Virtual presentation at the CSCW 2022 Conference describing the main PhD project.

Conferences Selected Boldi, A.

ABOUT THE BLURRING OF WORK AND PLAY: ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS EMERGING IN A FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER VIDEOGAME

Boldi, A.
Conferences Selected
About The Publication
The aim of this study is to investigate the organizational dynamics occurring in a multiplayer video game. The research involves E-sports professionals, streamers, and amateur players, who have different motives for playing and represent different “work-play” conditions, and explores how they differently enact organizational behaviors in the game. An ethnographic study within an Italian gaming community is currently in progress. I focus on “Call of Duty: Warzone”, a First-Person Shooter Battle Royale game which requires players to enact organizational efforts in order to reach the in-game objectives (e.g., defeat the enemy team). The study uses i) semi-structured interviews with amateur players and participant observation conducted in the game environment played by the amateurs, ii-iii) observation of gaming sessions, analysis of online content and semi-structured interviews with reference to streamers and professionals, iv) analysis of communication exchanges of all three types of players during the gaming sessions. I expect that players belonging to different categories will enact distinct organizational behaviors and give rise to various organizational structures. A cross-comparison between them, which is missing in current literature, would clarify how different modalities of combining work and play impact on organizational behaviors and dynamics.
12 Jul 2024

“COME ON, GUYS, LET’S STICK TOGETHER!”: ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS EMERGING AMONG PLAYERS IN A FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER VIDEO GAME.

CHI PLAY 2022, Bremen, Germany

Presentation at the CHIPLAY 2022 Conference describing the main PhD project.

Conferences Selected Arianna Boldi

“COME ON, GUYS, LET’S STICK TOGETHER!”: ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS EMERGING AMONG PLAYERS IN A FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER VIDEO GAME.

Arianna Boldi
Conferences Selected
About The Publication
The goal of this research is to study the organizational dynamics that are enacted by amateur players, streamers, and professionals in a multiplayer First-Person Shooter video game, namely Warzone, which requires organizational efforts to survive in the game arena and possibly win the game. These categories of players represent different “work-play” conditions, having different motives for playing. I assume that these players may enact different organizational behaviors to reach their objectives. To explore this hypothesis, I have been conducting a digital ethnography within an Italian gaming community since 2021, employing observations, semi-structured interviews and analysis of the communication exchanges occurring during the gaming sessions. In the literature, a cross-comparison between these players is currently missing. This work may then clarify how different “combinations of work and play” may affect players’ behaviors and organizational dynamics, as well as how they may be differently impacted by the design of the game.
01 Apr 2022

Professionals, Streamers and Amateur Players: An Ethnography for Exploring Organizational Behaviours in Different Work-Play Conditions

INPACT: International Psychological Applications Conference and Trends 2022, Madeira, Portugal

Virtual presentation at the INPACT conference describing the main PhD project.

Conferences Boldi, A., Rapp, A., & Tirassa, M.

Professionals, Streamers and Amateur Players: An Ethnography for Exploring Organizational Behaviours in Different Work-Play Conditions

Boldi, A., Rapp, A., & Tirassa, M.
Conferences
About The Publication
In recent decades, work has been going through a series of transformations leading to the rise of virtual organizations and to the spread of gamification practices. On the other side, also play activities have been going through a process of “workification”, with the rise of phenomena such as “grinding” in video games. Nowadays, the boundaries between work and play are blurred, so that the old dichotomies between game and labour do not hold anymore. This entanglement between work and play might shape the organizations and the dynamics of their members, radically. To understand how, we investigate organizational dynamics occurring in a multiplayer video game, as virtual gaming worlds are often designed to replicate complex social structures and serious work ecosystems. We involve Esports professionals, streamers, and amateur players as they differently intertwine “playing” and “working” practices during the gaming activity. Professionals have problems that are typical of workers, like pursuing a remunerated career in the area; streamers invest an emotional labour during live performances in order to attract spectators who economically sustain them; amateur players could perceive their activity as a “second work”. An ethnographic study within an Italian gaming community is in progress. We focus on “Call of Duty: Warzone”, a First-Person Shooter Battle Royale game which requires players to enact organizational efforts in order to reach the in-game objectives (e.g., defeat the enemy team). The study uses i) semi-structured interviews and participant observation conducted in the game environment played by the amateurs, ii-iii) observation of gaming sessions, analysis of online content and semi-structured interviews with reference to streamers and professional, iv) analysis of communication exchanges of all three types of players during the gaming sessions. We expect that players belonging to different categories will enact distinct organizational behaviours and give rise to various organizational structures. A cross-comparison between them, which is missing in current literature, would clarify how different modalities of combining work and play impact on organizational behaviours and dynamics; it could also help both academic and practitioners address the issues faced by current working virtual organizations, by providing insights on how to effectively organize people collaborating from a distance through “best practices” that can be found in games. Preliminary results will be presented at the conference. Since the study is targeted to the Italian context, generalization of the results might be difficult; however, we expect to provide rich insights through the adoption of a qualitative ethnographic approach.
14 Apr 2022

Quantifying the Body: Body Image, Body Awareness and Self-Tracking Technologies

Quantifying Quality of Life

Chapter describing the impact of self-tracking technologies on body representations.

Book Chapters Selected Boldi, A. & Rapp, A.

Quantifying the Body: Body Image, Body Awareness and Self-Tracking Technologies

Boldi, A. & Rapp, A.
Book Chapters Selected
About The Publication
The availability of wearable devices recently boosted the popularity of self-tracking technologies. Self-trackers are involved in a complex process of knowledge development, but this cannot be achieved without knowing the body. However, self-tracking devices seem to embrace an abstract and scattered conception of the body, based on unrelated numbers, graphs, and depictions, which may not be integrated into a coherent body image. This may turn into biases and distortions of how we look at our bodies, worsening, rather than improving, our self-knowledge. In this chapter we explore the ways through which the progressive “quantification” introduced by self-tracking technologies is affecting the body. We first explain a series of theoretical constructs concerning the body, which are essential to understand the impact of self-tracking on our bodies, like body schema, body image, and body awareness. Then, we illustrate how individuals’ body image and awareness are affected by the usage of self-tracking technologies in the sports domain. Finally, we point out some lines of future research aimed at providing people with more meaningful representations of their own body, improving their body awareness and even their body image.
12 Jul 2024

PLAYING DURING A CRISIS: THE IMPACT OF COMMERCIAL VIDEO GAMES ON THE RECONFIGURATION OF PEOPLE’S LIFE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

Human–Computer Interaction

Qualitative study of the usage of video games during the first lockdown in Italy.

Journal Paper Selected Boldi, A., Rapp, A., & Tirassa, M.

PLAYING DURING A CRISIS: THE IMPACT OF COMMERCIAL VIDEO GAMES ON THE RECONFIGURATION OF PEOPLE’S LIFE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

Boldi, A., Rapp, A., & Tirassa, M.
Journal Paper Selected
About The Publication
The COVID-19 pandemic led to dramatic changes in people’s lives. The Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community widely investigated technology use during crises. However, commercial video games received minor attention. In this article, we describe how video game play impacted the life transformations engendered by the pandemic. We administered a qualitative online survey to 330 video game players who were living in Italy during the lockdown measures. We found that the COVID-19 pandemic altered the participants’ sense of time and space, reshaped both their intimate and wider social interactions, and elicited a wide spectrum of disturbing emotions. Players escaped from this unsatisfying reality into video game worlds, searching for a new normality that could compensate for the unpredictability and dangerousness of the pandemic life, as well as seeking uncertainty in the game environments to balance the flatness of the lockdown everydayness. In doing so, they “appropriated” the gaming technologies, which also led to several unexpected outcomes. Starting from these findings, we propose a model of escapism that points out four ways to escape from reality into video game worlds. Moreover, we outline some design implications that might inspire future strands of research in the field of crisis technologies.
02 Jul 2021

COMMERCIAL VIDEO GAMES AS A RESOURCE FOR MENTAL HEALTH: A SYSTEMATIC LITERATURE REVIEW

Behaviour & Information Technology

Systematic review of papers addressing the use of COTS games for mental health.

Journal Paper Selected Boldi, A. & Rapp, A.

COMMERCIAL VIDEO GAMES AS A RESOURCE FOR MENTAL HEALTH: A SYSTEMATIC LITERATURE REVIEW

Boldi, A. & Rapp, A.
Journal Paper Selected
About The Publication
Game-based interventions have been gradually and successfully implemented in the mental health domain given the games’ ability to positively affect a variety of mental health conditions. To this aim, scholars have recently discovered the usefulness of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) video games, due to their increasing popularity, availability, and cost effectiveness. Nevertheless, key aspects of this line of research have not emerged yet, since a comprehensive overview of how commercial video games impact on different mental disorders is still missing. In this article, we present a systematic literature review of recent research that focuses on the usage of commercial video games in mental health. We analyse 39 papers and map the relevant themes that are recurrent in the last ten years of research, offering a detailed understanding of the methodological approaches that were used, the results obtained, the main disorders addressed, and the video game genres exploited. On the basis of these findings, we highlight open issues in current work and point out a variety of research opportunities that could be tackled in future years, like the need of conducting more field and longitudinal studies, the necessity of developing the design knowledge, and the possibility of connecting research with clinical practice.
01 Jul 2021

The human side of human-chatbot interaction: A systematic literature review of ten years of research on text-based chatbots

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies

Systematic review about how users interact with text-based chatbots.

Journal Paper Selected Rapp, A., Curti, L., & Boldi, A.

The human side of human-chatbot interaction: A systematic literature review of ten years of research on text-based chatbots

Rapp, A., Curti, L., & Boldi, A.
Journal Paper Selected
About The Publication
Over the last ten years there has been a growing interest around text-based chatbots, software applications interacting with humans using natural written language. However, despite the enthusiastic market predictions, ‘conversing’ with this kind of agents seems to raise issues that go beyond their current technological limitations, directly involving the human side of interaction. By adopting a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) lens, in this article we present a systematic literature review of 83 papers that focus on how users interact with text-based chatbots. We map the relevant themes that are recurrent in the last ten years of research, describing how people experience the chatbot in terms of satisfaction, engagement, and trust, whether and why they accept and use this technology, how they are emotionally involved, what kinds of downsides can be observed in human-chatbot conversations, and how the chatbot is perceived in terms of its humanness. On the basis of these findings, we highlight open issues in current research and propose a number of research opportunities that could be tackled in future years.
09 Aug 2018

How to Implement Educational Robotics’ Programs in Italian Schools: A Brief Guideline According to an Instructional Design Point of View.

Technology, Knowledge and Learning

A guideline proposing how to implement ER programs in schools.

Journal Paper Selected Ronsivalle, G. B., Boldi, A., Gusella, V., Inama, C., & S. Carta

How to Implement Educational Robotics’ Programs in Italian Schools: A Brief Guideline According to an Instructional Design Point of View.

Ronsivalle, G. B., Boldi, A., Gusella, V., Inama, C., & S. Carta
Journal Paper Selected
About The Publication
Nowadays, children and teenagers use technology products in an increasingly passive way. As simple consumers they cannot benefit from the opportunities of designing technology, which has a learning value. Educational Robotics (ER) programs are particularly effective in delivering contents of difficult disciplines: they can re-establish a balance between the learners and the technological devices, because the learners act as programmers and can develop their computational thinking. Therefore, we believe the school should upgrade its teaching methods, through the implementation of ER programs. This could be done without introducing a new subject, since technology could be considered like an interdisciplinary application module within pre-existing subjects. In this paper, we provide an overview of ER programs to share a practical guidance with those who want to plan educational workshops in their institutes. First, we analyze ER theoretical and epistemological fundamentals: ER has roots in recent and classic disciplines (psychology, cybernetics, robotics, cognitive science…), but it is also consistent with the principles of widely recognized pedagogies. Then, we describe successful Italian projects with a focus on regulations concerning ER programs. As a result of this analysis, we propose a brief guideline on the following topics: (a) needs analysis, (b) target segmentation, (c) objectives, (d) laboratory setting, (e) contents definition, (f) activities, (g) evaluation tools. Finally, we show that designing learning paths according to this method could also promote a more rigorous (and not only qualitative) evaluation, and then enhance both research and practice in this field.
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PROJECTS

MY PORTFOLIO
UNITOVIDEO GAMES

DIGITAL SKILLS, CAREER ASPIRATIONS, AND SENSE OF SECURITY AMONG VIDEO GAME PLAYERS

DIGITAL SKILLS, CAREER ASPIRATIONS, AND SENSE OF SECURITY AMONG VIDEO GAME PLAYERS

About The Project
This research aims to explore computer skills and the degree of digitalization among video game players, comparing them with the general population and examining the differences within the player community, in relation to various game genres and skill levels. In a world where digital competence is increasingly crucial, our study also extends to include related factors, such as values, work interests, career prospects, and perceptions of job security among video gamers. Particular attention is given to the emergence of new professions related to the world of video games, a sector that is still little explored and rapidly evolving. Through a quantitative methodological approach, we aim to outline the profile of the modern video gamer in terms of digital competencies, professional aspirations, and perception of stability in the job market. The results of this study provide significant insights into how gaming can facilitate the development of specific skills, highlighting unique career interests among players and analyzing the unique challenges and difficulties they face.
TU/eUNITOVIDEO GAMES

THE EXPERIENCE OF COMPETITIVE PLAYERS: BETWEEN “TILTING” AND “EU-STRESS”

THE EXPERIENCE OF COMPETITIVE PLAYERS: BETWEEN “TILTING” AND “EU-STRESS”

About The Project
Investigating the perception and handling of stress among competitors in professional gaming is essential, as it’s linked with adverse effects on their social, mental, and physical well-being. These effects are particularly significant among young individuals pursuing careers in Esports. Our study delved into various stress forms, including situational, social, and chronic stress, within the player’s social environment. This encompasses the team dynamics, the broader organization, and interactions with the wider gaming community. We conducted in-depth interviews with 16 male first-person shooter (FPS) gamers aged 18 to 31 from The Netherlands. Our focus was to understand how their social milieu influences their reaction to different stress types and to identify any available resources they could utilize to mitigate the severe impacts of stress.      
PROJECTSUNITOVIDEO GAMES

“WEBER AT THE ARCADE”: THE EXPERIENCE OF WORKING IN THE ESPORTS

“WEBER AT THE ARCADE”: THE EXPERIENCE OF WORKING IN THE ESPORTS

About The Project
This paper aims to bridge the insights gathered from studies on labor and games, intertwining the modern perspectives on evolving work practices with the notions of playbour and prosumption. By leveraging data from a qualitative study, which includes interviews and field observations, the objective of this research is to explore and reveal the underlying connections between the transformation of work within organizations and the emerging attitudes towards work within the gaming environment. Through a snapshot of preliminary results, the work will underscore the efforts that esports actors put into the internal subdivision of labour (staff, creators, pro players, etc.), which reflects differences in the deeds (and wages) of the associated roles.
UNITOVIDEO GAMES

ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS IN FPS GAMES

ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS IN FPS GAMES

About The Project

The aim of this study is to investigate the organizational dynamics occurring in a multiplayer video game. The research involves E-sports professionals, streamers, and amateur players, who have different motives for playing and represent different “work-play” conditions, and explores how they differently enact organizational behaviors in the game. An ethnographic study within an Italian gaming community is currently in progress. I focus on “Call of Duty: Warzone”, a First-Person Shooter Battle Royale game which requires players to enact organizational efforts in order to reach the in-game objectives (e.g., defeat the enemy team). The study uses i) semi-structured interviews with amateur players and participant observation conducted in the game environment played by the amateurs, ii-iii) observation of gaming sessions, analysis of online content and semi-structured interviews with reference to streamers and professionals, iv) analysis of communication exchanges of all three types of players during the gaming sessions. I expect that players belonging to different categories will enact distinct organizational behaviours and give rise to various organizational structures. A cross-comparison between them, which is missing in current literature, would clarify how different modalities of combining work and play impact on organizational behaviours and dynamics.

Click here to watch a 3-minutes video Click here to check my CSCW Doctoral Consortium 2022 presentation
UNITOVIDEO GAMES

CRISIS AND TECHNOLOGY: GAMES IN QUARANTINE

CRISIS AND TECHNOLOGY: GAMES IN QUARANTINE

About The Project
The COVID-19 pandemic led to dramatic changes in people’s lives. The Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community widely investigated technology use during crises. However, commercial video games received minor attention. In this article, we describe how video game play impacted the life transformations engendered by the pandemic. We administered a qualitative online survey to 330 video game players who were living in Italy during the lockdown measures. We found that the COVID-19 pandemic altered the participants’ sense of time and space, reshaped both their intimate and wider social interactions, and elicited a wide spectrum of disturbing emotions. Players escaped from this unsatisfying reality into video game worlds, searching for a new normality that could compensate for the unpredictability and dangerousness of the pandemic life, as well as seeking uncertainty in the game environments to balance the flatness of the lockdown everydayness. In doing so, they “appropriated” the gaming technologies, which also led to several unexpected outcomes. Starting from these findings, we propose a model of escapism that points out four ways to escape from reality into video game worlds. Moreover, we outline some design implications that might inspire future strands of research in the field of crisis technologies. Results were published on Human-Computer Interaction.
TU/eVIDEO GAMES

AVATAR IDENTIFICATION IN VIDEO GAMES

AVATAR IDENTIFICATION IN VIDEO GAMES

About The Project
Identification with avatar can be defined as the degree to which individuals like a character, perceive it as similar to themselves or empathize with it. Through identification, players can project their identity into a virtual environment and temporarily become the character. People relate favourably to characters who are either like themselves (the “mirror”), or who represent their ideal self (the “magic mirror”). Since the benefit of identification are widely acknowledged, researchers attempt to favour the happening of this process. Several studies then focused on the positive effects of customization and identification.  The aim of this study is, instead, to explore how players will react to the mismatch between them and the avatar and possible “repair” actions to the alleged mismatch. The study involves the creation of a game whose design features will be experimentally manipulated in order to investigate the variables that are of interests for the study. The study will start from September 2020, with the collaboration of the University of Eindhoven.
UNITOVIDEO GAMES

ESCAPETOLEARN: SUSTAINABILITY

ESCAPETOLEARN: SUSTAINABILITY

About The Project
Research showed that the use of games, such as escape rooms, is valuable for engaging student in learning new subjects or training new skills. The aim of this project is to develop Digital Escape Rooms (ERDs) to address in the school setting the theme of the sustainable use of resources, i.e., sustainable energy production, sustainable modes of production and consumption and the economic impact of environmental sustainability. The ERDs are distributed in different school in the Northern area of Italy and self-report questionnaires will be administred. The projects involved different Departments of the University of Torino for a total of 10 partners. We will evaluate the interest and the engagement of the children in the topic that are addressed by the ERDs.
PERSONAL INFORMATICSUNIL

SELF-TRACKING TECHNOLOGIES AND THE BODY

SELF-TRACKING TECHNOLOGIES AND THE BODY

About The Project
The growing availability of wearable devices and ubiquitous technologies has boosted the popularity of Personal Informatics (PI) systems, also known as “self-trackers”, among the mainstream population. As a result, an increasing number of people makes use of PI tools which regularly monitor and record personal information. Intrigued by the opportunities touted by such devices, several people started using them with the aim to gather personal insights and improve their lives. In their view, a better self-knowledge may be obtained through the quantitative measurement of personal bodily processes. Critical investigations over self-trackers challenge the idea that similar devices might be beneficial for their users, and rather higlight a number of detrimental effects. In the attempt to bring clarity on this matter, the aim of this study is to empirically test the impact of wearing a self-tracker (i.e., a FitBit) for first time users, studying the constructs of body awareness, body image, and body surveillance. The study involves an experimental and a control group, for a total of 400 participants that wore the tracker for a 4-month period. A mixed-method approach was adopted, as we administred questionnaires before and after the experience, and interviewed a sub-sample of 20 individuals. Qualitative and quantitative analysis are currently in progress. The study is conducted in collaboration with the University of Lausanne (UNIL)  and the University of Fribourg (HEG-FR).
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCEUNITO

Studies and research on intelligent conversational systems

Studies and research on intelligent conversational systems

About The Project
The project aims to investigate how users interact with the chatbot of a Multinational Company and to identify new solutions to overcome difficulties in user-chatbot interaction. So far, the projects led to the publication of a systematic review on human-chatbot interaction which was published on the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.
HEG-FRPRIVACY

Privacy Enhancing Tools AND Technologies

Privacy Enhancing Tools AND Technologies

About The Project
Compliance with the new requirements of the GDPR regulations is a crucial task for online service providers, that have been asked to empower their users by giving them more control on their data privacy.  To this aim, new controls on their website have gradually be introduced so to guarantee users’ control of the data that they provide to the platform they visit. Online service providers are also required to provide good levels of transparency on their actions, as loss in trust may cause withdrawal of consent. Transparency offered by the data controllers and processors is crucial, and consists in providing comprehensible information so to allow a consent and informed decision. The goal of this experiment is to evaluate the usability and transparency of a dashboard which is designed to match job seekers with recruiters. The study involves 20 participants and includes self-report questionnaires, interview and a usability protocol which is called “Thinking Aloud”. The study is conducted in collaboration with the University of Fribourg (HEG-FR).
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