Dr Iain Donald

Senior Lecturer

School School of Design and Informatics

Department Division of Games and Arts

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8639


I am a Senior Lecturer in Game Production within the Division of Games and Arts and currently hold a University wide role as Academic Enterprise Theme Lead. My recent research explores commemoration and memorialization in videogames and interactive media.

I completed my undergraduate degee in History and International Relations from the University of Aberdeen. I completed my Masters in Information Systems at Robert Gordon University and hold a PhD in History from the University of Aberdeen. Prior to joining Abertay as a lecturer in 2010, I worked in Web Development, Telecommunications and Game Development.

I currently combine my industry experience with my doctoral field (history) by exploring the intersection of games, digital media and history. I primarily teach game production and am actively engaged through the Biome Collective in researching production and management within the creative industries, particularly project methodologies for SMEs and for multiplatform development. I have been involved in several award-winning Applied Games projects, and have written and presented on creating and developing games for digital health, education, cybersecurity and social change.

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My Undergraduate teaching is focused on game production, development methodologies and group projects.

UG Teaching and Project Supervision

  • Professional Project
  • The Creative Industries
  • Game Design and Production Honours projects

 PG Research Supervision (Completed/Awaiting Viva)

  • Galloway, D. (2014) [PhD] 
  • Lowthorpe, C. (2016) [PhD]

 PG Research Supervision (Current)

  • Pittner, F. (2017-) [PhD]
  • McMillan, R. (2017-) [PhD]
  • Purna, N. (2018-) [PhD]
  • Demuth, A. (2018-) [PhD]
  • Gullen, J. (2018-) [MbR]

 Other Teaching Experience

  • Visiting Lecturer, BBC Academy, 2011-2015
  • Guest Lecturer, EUCROMA, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2012-2015
  • Erasmus Exchange Scholar to IIM, Pôle Universitaire Léonard de Vinci Paris, 2015
  • Irish National Seminar Series, Carlow Institute of Technology, 2018

Previous teaching at Undergraduate level includes Quality Assurance and User Experience; Prototype Game Development; Game Application Development; The Producer in Interactive Media; Game Professional Awareness; Games Industry Awareness and at Postgraduate level, The Games Marketplace


My main research interests examine the intersection of games, digital media and history with a focus on commemoration and memorialisation. I’m particularly interested in using game design and technology to explore collective and communal memory in communities impacted by war, the veterans who fought in them, and to considering how we represent conflict in virtual worlds.

Other research interests include practice-based teaching, user engagement, collaborative working models and the sharing of intellectual property for the Digital Media and Games industries.

My industry experience was mostly centred on Production processes and procedures and I retain links to industry through membership of the Biome Collective. My industry research interests lie in production and management within the creative industries. I’m interested in project methodologies across multiplatform development, balancing traditional and agile approaches, quality assurance, user experience, continued professional development, sector diversification, sector incentivisation, quality of life and unionisation.

My PhD and MbR students have a diverse range of research topics. This includes: transmedia narratives, interactive documentary, game production processes, data mining and visualisation, social innovation, game design for aiding patient journeys and the impact of game technology on design culture.

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More Information


Total funding to date: > £3.8m

  • 'InGame: Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise' (AHRC, 2018-2023)
  • 'Mapping Social Innovation’ (Northwood Trust, 2018)
  • 'Transmedia Afterlives of African Adventure Narratives’ (AHRC Creative Economies, 2017-2020) 
  • 'Their Memory: Exploring Veteran’s Voices, Virtual reality and Collective Memory’ (AHRC Immersive Experiences, 2018)
  • 'Visualising the Iolaire (AHRC Living Legacies, 2017)
  • 'Great War Dundee' (Heritage Lottery Fund, 2014-2019)




  • External Examiner – Master of Science by Research, University of Huddersfield (2018)
  • External Examiner – PhD, University of Leicester (2018)
  • External Validation - External Panel Member for the Programme Review Event considering the Department of Applied Computer Games undergraduate programmes, Glasgow Caledonian University (2018)
  • External Examiner - BA (Hons) Independent Games Design (Game Art) and BA (Hons) Independent Games Design (Game Development), University of Hull (2018-2022)
  • External Examiner - BSc (Hons) Computer Games Design, University of Essex (2017-2021)


Peer Review College Member

  • UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships, 2018-

Editorial Board

  • International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, 2017-
  • Postcolonial Perspectives in Game Studies for the Open Library of Humanities, 2017

Committee Member

  • Great War Dundee Steering Committee, 2014-2019

Judging Panel

  • Serious Play Awards 2017, 2018
  • Games 4 Health 2017

Knowledge Exchange

  • 'Knowledge Transfer Partnership – NATS’ (Innovate UK, 2017)
  • 'Glitchspace: Visual Programming for Educational Learning’ (Innovate UK, 2015)
  • Various Academic-Industry Collaborations (Coca-Cola, TechNip, Hyman Robertsons, International Intellectual Property Crime Investigators College, Droman Crime Solutions, NHS Education, Care Inspectorate, Samsung)




Recent Public Engagement, Workshops and Exhibitions

Exhibitor – ‘Their Memory’, Virtual reality Experience, Moving Poppy Exhibit, Poppyscotland ‘Bud’ Learning and Outreach, Scotland, 2019-2023  

Consultant - 'Great War Dundee’, Comic, Dundee, UniVerse and Comic Scene, September/October 2019.

Public lecture – ‘Virtual World Wars’, Great War Dundee – The War in Comics and Popular Culture, V&A Dundee, Dundee, September 20th 2019.

Exhibitor – ‘Their Memory’, Scottish Parliament 20 Years Anniversary: The Future of Scotland, Scottish Parliament Holyrood, 29th June 2019.

Public workshop - 'Cryptography meets Comics', Great War Dundee, Dundee, June 22nd 2019.

Public event – ‘Their Memory’, Abertay Gamelab Showcase: Young People's Design Day, V&A Dundee, Dundee, 22nd June 2019.

Public event – ‘Visualising the Iolaire’, 2019 WW1 Engagement Centres Festival Shared Heritage: Legacies of the First World War, Northern Ireland Public Record Office, Belfast, 21st May 2019.

Demonstrator – ‘Playing in im/material Worlds’, University of Glasgow and Dundee’s Summer of Games, Abertay University, 13th May 2019.

Public event – ‘Applied Games’, Creative Lives 2109, Perth Museum & Art Gallery, May 4th 2018.

Exhibitor/Workshop – ‘Their Memory’, WW100: The Aftermath, National Museum of Scotland, 6th December 2018.

Public lecture - 'The Iolaire Disaster', The Highlands Centenary Event: In Commemoration of the End of WW1: Sounds and Pictures of World War 1, Inverness Cathedral, Inverness, November 11th 2018.

Event organiser and speaker – ‘Introducing Co-Design’, Spring into Methods, Scottish Graduate School for the Arts & Humanities & Scottish Graduate School of the Social Sciences, April 25th-27th 2018.

Guest speaker - 'Great War Dundee’, Family History Day, Verdant Works, 2016-2018.

Guest speaker and Workshop organiser - ‘Play as a Research Method’, Summer School, Scottish Graduate School for the Arts & Humanities 2016, 2017.

Event Organiser ‘Playing with History: Games, antiquity and history’, Workshop, First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG, August 1st 2016.

Exhibitor and Event Organiser ‘Loos: The Fallen Fourth, National Commemoration of the Battle of Loos, Caird Hall, Dundee, 25th-26th September 2015.

Meet the rest of the team

Mr Martin Lynagh

Mr Martin Lynagh

Division of Games and Arts | Lecturer

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Ms Charly Harbord

Ms Charly Harbord

Division of Games and Arts | InGame Project Coordinator

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