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Personal profile

Research profile

Max Birk is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology. With an interdisciplinary background, Max draws from psychology, interaction design, data science, and game design, to investigate the effects of game-based design strategies on mental processes and design-induced behaviour change. His research contributes to games user research, digital health, and motivational interface design. He is interested in projects contributing to a healthy society, improving entertainment experiences (e.g., eSports), and developing tools and methods for researching interactive experiences. 

Max' research has been published more than 25 times in international top HCI venues, and he has contributed to research on player experience, individual differences in play, task adherence, crowdsourcing, and on the intersection between video games and mental health. He has organized well-received workshops across the globe and led research projects spanning multiple continents. Max has collaborated with game-designers in North America, Europe, and China, and experience working with independent developers like AlienTrap and global tech companies like Tencent.

Academic background

Max Birk received his graduate degree in Psychology from the University of Trier, Germany, in 2012. Under the supervision of Dr. Regan Mandryk, he completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, in 2018. During his Ph.D., Max investigated avatar customization as a motivational design strategy to increase engagement with technology-enabled services for health. He received several awards, including the Governor General’s Gold Medal, the Bill Buxton Award, the University of Saskatchewan Doctoral Dissertation Award, the GSA Excellence of the Science Award, and 4 ACM honorable mentions or best paper awards.

As the Assistant to the General Chairs, Max was part of the organizational team of CHI 2018 in Montréal. He co-organized the Spotlight track for CHI PLAY 2017 in Amsterdam and for CHI PLAY 2018 in Melbourne. Currently he co-organzies the Interactivity track for CHI PLAY 2019 in Barcelona. Max frequently contributes to venues such as CHI, CHI PLAY, JMIR, IJHCS, or ToCHI.

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2013 2019

  • 434 Citations
  • 31 Conference contribution
  • 6 Article
  • 1 Phd Thesis 4 Research NOT TU/e / Graduation NOT TU/e)
1 Citation (Scopus)

Healthy lies: the effects of misrepresenting player health data on experience, behavior, and performance

Wuertz, J., Birk, M. V. & Bateman, S., 2 May 2019, Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New York: Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, 12 p. 319

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Display devices
1 Citation (Scopus)
Open Access
Mental Health
Non-Randomized Controlled Trials
Equipment and Supplies

Just a click away: action-state orientation moderates the impact of task interruptions on initiative

Birk, M. V., Mandryk, R. L. & Baumann, N., 1 Jul 2019, In : Journal of Personality.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Video Games

The potential of game-based digital biomarkers for modeling mental health

Mandryk, R. L. & Birk, M., 23 Apr 2019, In : Journal of Medical Internet Research. 6, 4, 13 p., e13485

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Mental Health
Information Storage and Retrieval
Mental Health Associations
Social Media
19 Citations (Scopus)

Video games for mental health

Birk, M., Wadley, G., Vanden Abeele, V., Mandryk, R. & Torous, J., 1 Jul 2019, In : Interactions. 26, 4, p. 32-36 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Press / Media

Opinion: How Facepunch failed to communicate gender assignment in Rust

Max Birk


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment