I am a Senior Lecturer within the Division of Games and Arts, and Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Game Design and Production. I also hold the University-wide research role of Creative Industries Theme Leader, and I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).
I studied Computer Arts at undergraduate level, before entering the games industry to take on roles in game art and post-production. I left the industry in 2007 to pursue a PhD in game character animation, and joined Abertay as a Lecturer in 2011.
As a researcher and practitioner, my main areas of interest are gaming nostalgia, critical and experimental game design, applied games, and production studies. As an educator, I specialise in teaching visual design for games, team game development practice, and games research.
I have published my research into game characters, gaming nostalgia and applied games in leading journals and conferences such as Games and Culture, Gaming and Virtual Worlds, and DiGRA. I’m also the author of Virtual Character Design for Games and Interactive Media.
My current research includes three AHRC-funded projects InGAME: Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise (AH/S002871/1), InGAME International (AH/T011491/1) and Living Histories of Sugar in Scotland and the Wst Indies: Transnationalisms, Performance and Co-creation (AH/S01148X/1). Other current projects include an Erasmus+ funded project exploring the co-design of nutrition games for seniors, and a collaboration with Culture Perth & Kinross funded by Museums and Galleries Scotland that will develop an online user-generated gallery platform.
My Undergraduate teaching is focused on 3D production, game art pipelines, and game design and development.
I currently lead the Honours year modules for the BA programmes Computer Arts and Game Design and Production, teaching research methods to art, design, and production students.
Other Teaching Experience
My research interests encompass gaming nostalgia, visual design for games, character design and development, game design for education and cultural engagement, and game development practices.
My PhD research (2007-2011) centred on facial animation for game characters, with a particular emphasis on how psychological theories and methods can enhance animation practice. I've published a range of papers on animation strategies for perceptually valid facial performance and the presence of the Uncanny Valley in virtual characters.
Since the completion of my PhD, my research has focused more on practice-based game design research, critical analyses of games, and research into gaming culture.
My current PhD students have a diverse range of research topics. This includes: fan culture and the links between play and fandom, approaches to the curation and exhibition of games in museums and galleries, and the creative practices of professional game artists.
You can keep up to date with my current research projects and publications by visiting my website: www.robinjss.co.uk
My research publications can be accessed via the Abertay Research Collections
Total funding secured to date: > £5.97m
EXTERNAL EXAMINATION AND VALIDATION
External Examiner - MSc Digital Media Production, Oxford Brookes University (2017-2021)
External Validation - BA (Hons) Game Art, Staffordshire University (2015)
External Validation - FdSc and BSc (Hons) Games Development, SSR Manchester/University of Bolton (2015)
External Examiner - BA (Hons) Games Art, University of Northampton (2013-2017)
External Approval - MDes Digital Culture, Glasgow School of Art (2013)
Peer Review College Member
Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), 2017-2020
Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds (Intellect), 2017-
The Computer Games Journal (Springer), 2014-
DiGRA 2017: The 10th Digital Games Research Association Conference
School of Arts, Media and Computer Games Ethics Committee, Abertay University, 2014-
HCI 2013: The 26th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference
HCI 2012: The 25th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference
Independent Games Festival 2017, 2018
Games 4 Health 2017
Scottish Media and Communication Association (SMCA), 2013-