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Non-Standard Computation

Prof Anders Drachen


Anders Drachen, PhD, (born 1976) is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science, with Digital Creativity Labs and Weavr at the University of York (UK). Prior to that, he was an Associate Professor at the Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University (Denmark). Prior to that Associate Professor at the Playable Interactive Technologies Lab at Northeastern University (USA) and Lead Game Analyst at Game Analytics (Denmark). He also serves as the Lead Industry Liaison for the Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence Centre for Doctoral Research (, and on a number of Special Interest Groups and Committees.

His work in games research is focused on user behaviour, user experience and audience engagement and the application of data science, information systems modelling, business intelligence, design and Human-Computer Interaction in these domains. His research and professional work are carried out in collaboration with companies across the Creative Industries, from big publishers to indies.

He is recognized as one of the most influential people in his domains of work and has authored 120+ publications with international colleagues across industry and academia. He is also editor of two field-defining books in the games domain: Game Analytics – Maximizing the Value of Player Data, the first book published on business intelligence in the Creative Industries, forming a compendium of insights from more than 50 top experts in industry and research, and Games User Research (, the result of a unique collaboration between more than 100 experts across industry and academia and the de-facto reference in the field. His writings can also be found on the pages of trade publications such as Game Developer Magazine and Gamasutra. His research has been covered by international print and online media worldwide and garnered millions of views. Major national print and online news outlets such as Wired, New York Post and Forbes have covered his research which has attained global attention on multiple occasions. His research work has received four best paper awards and two honourable mentions at major conferences including the Eleventh Annual AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE) in 2015 and the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in 2019.

He has organized several international conferences and workshops, served on dozens of conference committees and served as a member of the board of Special Interest Groups. He collaborates with an international network of colleagues in academia and the industry, and his research is performed in collaboration with the Creative Industries. He is a regular invited speaker at industry events.

His teaching areas include game design and -development, analytics, big data, interactive media, research methods, human-computer interaction, digital media, information systems, data science, user research, statistics, software development methods and business Intelligence. He is a strong proponent of problem-based and work-authentic learning and actively seeks to ensure students obtain first-hand experience with the topics he teaches as well as for connecting theory and practice in applied/real-world settings. He emphasizes the role of the teacher as a facilitator of learning, rather than operating under one-way communication paradigms. He works with students worldwide on research projects and is an active partner for the Creative Industries in matchmaking students for internships and careers.

Having lived and worked on four different continents, Anders Drachen has had the mixed pleasure of fending off three shark attacks in Africa and Australia. He is also the youngest Dane in history to publish a cooking book – dedicated to ice cream. He is an active children's novel writer, focusing on stories that engage and educate.

Personal website at


Contact details

Department of Computer Science
University of York
Deramore Lane
YO10 5GH

Phone: +44 (0)1904 325354

Office: RCH/232


Research Groups: