Anders Drachen, PhD, (born 1976) is Professor and Head of the Game Development and Learning Technologies Unit at the Maersk McKinney-Moeller Institute, University of Southern Denmark, as well as Lead Analyst for Weavr, which is building new data-driven audience experiences across esports and sports and Co-Director for the Arena Research Cluster, an international research network focused on innovation in esports and sports. He is also affiliated with various universities, committees and networks, e.g. the Digital Creativity Labs (former co-director), a UK Digital Economy Hub and World Centre for Excellence, which connects 100+ partners in delivering impact-driven research in games, interactive media and the rich space in which they converge at the University of York (UK), the Turing Institute data visualisation SIG, the IGGI Centre for Doctoral Training, and is adjunct faculty at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
He is recognized as one of the world’s most influential people in business intelligence in the Creative Industries, and a core innovator in the domain with 170+ publications across game analytics and games user research. His work has assisted major international game publishers, as well as SMEs, make better decisions based on their data. As an interdisciplinary, veteran data scientist, his work has reached across user behaviour, user experience, business intelligence, big data, machine learning, information systems, human-computer interaction, digital business transformation, data visualisation, audience interaction, design, psychology and health.
He is editor/author of three field-defining books in the Creative Industries domain: Game Analytics – Maximizing the Value of Player Data, which has seen about 200,000 downloads, Games User Research, a standard work of reference in the games industry, and Game Data Science.
His research has been covered by international print and online media worldwide. 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 five 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 was part of the team behind the International Game Development Association’s Special Interest Group on Games Research and User Experience, which today counts over 2900 members worldwide. He is a member of the International Game Development Association’s Special Interest Group on Game Analytics. He is a member of Turing Institute Special Interest Group on Data Visualisation and the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing in the United Kingdom. He is a member of multiple other international special interest groups and committees.
He has organized several international conferences and workshops and served on dozens of conference committees. He collaborates with international networks of colleagues in academia and industry and works with students worldwide on research projects. He is a strong proponent for work-integrated learning and 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. In his spare time, he writes books for children about technology and economics.