Using games to disrupt the conference Twittersphere

  • Rosie Jones The Open University
  • Emily Shields Manchester Metropolitan University
Keywords: Unconference, Twitter, Playful, Networking, Conference, Games, Social media


Social media tools are changing practices in many industries, including academia, and the Twitter platform is widely recognised as the ‘tool of choice’ for microblogging. Academic conferences often use social media to provide conference ‘backchannels’. This article describes a conference game using toys as alter egos, driven through Twitter. We found that the soft toy game format was participated in by a majority of the attendees, with early posts in advance of the conference a good signal of engagement. We look at what the organisers learnt from the game and how such games, including Twitter elements, could support wider networks beyond the conference itself.

Published: 9 May 2018

This paper is part of the Special Collection: Playful Learning Conference, edited by Fiona Smart and Mark Langan. More papers from this collection can be found here.

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2018, 26: 2036 -


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How to Cite
Jones R., & Shields E. (2018). Using games to disrupt the conference Twittersphere. Research in Learning Technology, 26.
Playful Learning Conference - Themed Collection