The 8th Games and Natural Language Processing (Games and NLP 2021) Special Session — to be held at IEEE CoG 2021 — will examine the use of games and gamification for Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks, as well as how NLP research can advance player engagement and communication within games. The Games and NLP session aims to promote and explore the possibilities for research and practical applications of games and gamification that have a core NLP aspect, either to generate resources and perform language tasks or as a game mechanic itself. This session investigates computational and theoretical aspects of natural language research that would be beneficial for designing and building novel game experiences, or for processing texts to conduct formal game studies. NLP would benefit from games in obtaining language resources (e.g., construction of a thesaurus or a parser through a crowdsourcing game), or in learning the linguistic characteristics of game users as compared to those of other domains. This year features a talk from our guest speaker, Jack Urbanek (Facebook), discussing his work on project LIGHT.

Paper topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Games for collecting data useful for NLP (games in planning, underdevelopment, or deployed)
  • Gamification of NLP tasks (techniques, best practice and evaluation of gamification strategies)
  • Player motivation and experience (strategies for recruitment/retention and player profiling)
  • Game design (conceptual design elements and reports of success and/or failure of designs)
  • Novel uses of natural language processing or generation as a game mechanic
  • Natural language in games as an alternative method of input for people with disabilities
  • Processing NLP game data (aggregation methods and strategies for minimising noise and cheating)
  • Analysis of large-scale game-related corpora (e.g., game reviews, game play logs)
  • Real-time sentiment analysis of player discourse or chat
  • Evaluation of games for NLP (metrics for evaluating game performance, evaluating player performance, motivation and bias, and evaluating task difficulty)
  • Serious games for learning languages
  • Player immersion in language-enabled mixed reality or physically embodied games
  • Narrative plot or text generation of text-based interactive narrative systems
  • Natural language understanding and generation of character dialogue
  • Ethical and privacy concerns of ownership of text and audio chat in massively multiplayer online games.

We especially encourage participants to share frequently used metrics for assessing game and player performance.

Important Dates:

  • Paper submission deadline - May 28th EXTENDED May 31st
  • Paper Acceptance - June 8th
  • Camera ready deadline - June 18th


We invite submissions of full papers (8 pages), short papers (4 pages), and extended abstracts (2 pages). Page lengths are excluding references and metrics.

Full and short papers will present original research and appear in the session proceedings. Full and short papers will be presented as talks or at the poster and demo session, and the proceedings published on the IEEE CoG 2021 and Games and NLP 2021 websites. Extended abstracts will showcase demonstrations, works in progress, and position papers. These papers will be non-archival and will provide authors with the opportunity to showcase ongoing work and focused, relevant contributions. All authors will be sent feedback and final decision of acceptance.

Review Process

Full and short papers will be reviewed double blind by at least two of the programme committee before a meta-review by the organisers (so, please take care to anonymise your submissions). We encourage authors to take whatever space they need; papers will be judged on the merit of their ideas, not length. Extended abstracts will be reviewed by the organising committee. These submissions will be reviewed single blind by two of the programme committee before a meta-review by the organisers.

We hope the workshop will take place in person, otherwise the workshop will take place online in the timezone of the conference.

Games and NLP is dedicated to a harassment-free experience for everyone. Our anti-harassment policy can be found in our Code of Conduct.