a group of people posing for a photo

Xbox Research


Grounded caters to those with arachnophobia in a very unusual way (opens in new tab)

Grounded, a game developed by Obsidian Entertainment, has a unique way of handling accessibility for those with arachnophobia.

Randy Pagulayan Image

Dr. Randy Pagulayan, The Legendary Xbox UR Guru (Koalatea Time 91) (opens in new tab)

Randy sits down for some Koalatea time to discuss his career and insights into the gaming industry.

Tom Lorruso Image

Hold on to your Butts: A debate on teaching teams to do research | Ian Livingston & Tom Lorusso (opens in new tab)

A discussion between Tom Lorusso from Xbox and Ian Livingston from Blizzard on the topic of the democratization of user research.

Randy Pagulayan image

A Golden Age of Research (opens in new tab)

Keynote address, 2019 Games User Research Summit. Featuring Randy Pagulayan.

Not your mommas podcast image 

Gaming is for Everyone (opens in new tab)

“Gaming is For Everyone: On Games, Access, and Inclusivity”, Not Your Mama’s Gamer (NYMG) Podcast Episode 176, 2018. Featuring Jerome Hagen and Melissa Boone.

Sea of thieves screenshot 

Sea of Thieves and Toxicity (opens in new tab)

“Sea of Thieves team put anti-toxicity strategies into game’s core design”, by Julia Alexander, Polygon, 2018. Featuring Jerome Hagen and work by Joseph Chisholm.

Fair play alliance logo 

Leveling the Playing Field (opens in new tab)

Leveling the playing field: Understanding players’ experiences with online harassment, lightning talk at the Fair Play Alliance Summit, 2018 Game Developers Conference. Featuring Melissa Boone.

GDC 2018 logo

Understanding and Addressing Your Players’ Negative Online Gaming Experiences (opens in new tab)

Talk at the 2018 Game Developers Conference. Featuring Tracey Fuller, Melissa Boone, and Jerome Hagen. Whether they’re playing, streaming, or viewing, you’re probably only hearing about a fraction of your audience’s negative online experiences with your game.

GUR Summit Logo 

Constructive Conversations about Sexism and Racism (opens in new tab)

Roundtable discussion at #GamesUR, 2018 Games User Research Summit. Featuring Deborah Hendersen, Jerome Hagen, and Melissa Boone.

Halo image 

“Hear Here!” (opens in new tab)

Halo Waypoint News, 2018. Featuring Jessie Thomas

Book cover: Human Computer Interaction

Applied User Research in Games (2017) (opens in new tab)

The Wiley Handbook of Human Computer Interaction Set, Volume 1, First Edition (pp. 299-346). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.  Written by Randy Pagulayan, Daniel Gunn, Jerome Hagen, Deborah Hendersen, Todd Kelley, Bruce Phillips, JJ Guajardo, Tim Nichols.

Deborah Hendersen image 

How to Playtest Games with Deborah Hendersen (opens in new tab)

Game Dev Loadout Podcast, 2017. Featuring Deborah Hendersen.

Spawn on Me logo

“We get our review” (opens in new tab)

Spawn On Me Podcast, 2017. Featuring Melissa Boone.

Jessie Thomas image

Behind the Bias Panel (opens in new tab)

Association for Women in Science, University of Notre Dame, 2017. Featuring Jessie Thomas.

Games UR Summit 2017 Logo

Reducing Biases in User Research  (opens in new tab)

Talk at #gamesUR, 2017 featuring Jerome Hagen and Melissa Boone.

#gamesUR Summit 2017

Guidelines for Inclusive and Accessible Games  (opens in new tab)

Talk at #gamesUR, 2017. Lauren White and Tom Lorusso.

GUR Summit 2016

Designing for Gamers with Deafness (opens in new tab)

Talk at #gamesUR London, 2016 by Tom Lorusso.

Kevin Keeker and Randy Pagulayan Photo

Fireside Chat PS Loves Xbox  (opens in new tab)

Keynote at #gamesUR, 2016. Featuring Kevin Keeker and Randy Pagulayan.

Popular Science screenshot

Could Analyzing How Humans Think Make Better Video Games? (opens in new tab)

by Alexandra Ossola. Popular Science, 2015. Featuring Randy Pagulayan.

Link to

Why Should Game Stories Make Sense? (opens in new tab)

by Chris Dahlen. Polygon, 2014. (Featuring Deborah Hendersen)

PAX Logo

Brain Dump: 9 Creators share “One Weird Trick” to Game Development

Panel at Penny Arcade Expo – PAX Prime 2014. (Featuring Deborah Hendersen)

Preview Image for Article

Research Driven Design

Panel at SIEGE, 2014. (Featuring Deborah Hendersen)

Preview image for

The Xbox Science Machine, by Scott Butterworth.

Official Xbox Magazine, May 2014 print edition. (Featuring Randy Pagulayan, JJ Guajardo, and Kristie J. Fisher)

Preview image for

Learning the Language of Players (opens in new tab)

Giant Bomb Podcast, 2014. (Featuring Deborah Hendersen)

Preview image for

A History of Games User Research

Talk at 2014 Games User Research Summit. (Given by Michael Medlock)

Preview image for

Using User Research to Improve Game Narratives (opens in new tab)

Talk at GDC 2014. (Given by Deborah Hendersen)

Preview image for

UI Tenets & Traps (opens in new tab)

Winner of the 2013 Microsoft Engineering Excellence Award for Planning & Design Excellence. (Featuring Michael Medlock, Todd Kelley, and Kristie J. Fisher)

Preview Image for

Games User Research Bootcamp at GDC 2013 (opens in new tab)

see GDC Vault for access. (Featuring Tom Lorusso & Kristie J. Fisher)

Preview image for article

Rated M for Mainstream (opens in new tab)

by Monica J. Vila. Huffington Post, 2012. (Featuring JJ Guajardo).

Eric Schuh image

Data Entry, Risk Management, and Tacos: Inside Halo 4’s Playtest Labs (opens in new tab)

by Matt Leone. Polygon website, 2012. (Featuring Eric Schuh)

Preview image for

Video Game Design and Development (opens in new tab)

by Rebecca Clay. APA GradPYSCH, 2012. (Featuring Tim Nichols)

Preview image for article

Cognitive Flow: The Psychology of Great Game Design (opens in new tab)

Gamasutra website, 2012. (Written by Sean Baron)

Preview for article

Microsoft to Debut Final Halo Game (opens in new tab)

by Wendy Kaufman. NPR Radio. (Featuring Randy Pagulayan & John Hopson)

Preview image for article

User-centered Design in Games

in the Second Edition (2007) of the Human-Computer Interaction Handbook. (Written by Randy Pagulayan, Kevin Keeker, Thomas Fuller, Dennis Wixon, Ramon Romero, and Daniel Gunn)

Preview image for article

Halo 3: How Microsoft Labs Invented a New Science of Play (opens in new tab)

by Clive Thompson. Wired Magazine. (Featuring Randy Pagulayan)

Preview image for article

Quantifying “Magic”: Learnings from User Research for Creating Good Player Experience on Xbox Kinect

IJGCMS 6(1), pp. 26-40. (Featuring Tim Nichols & Kristie Fisher)