I am a Professor of Game Design and Culture based in the School of Design and Informatics. I studied as a computer artist before progressing into the games industry, where I worked in both art and post-production teams for PC and mobile development. I completed an interdisciplinary PhD in 2011 which applied methodologies from animation and psychology to the design of interactive characters. I have been based at Abertay University since completing my PhD, and previously led the Game Design and Production programme.
Within the university I lead our approach to Art and Design research for the Research Excellence Framework (REF), which involves supporting colleagues to initiate, document, and communicate their creative practice as research. I also have a role in shaping the direction and activity of Abertay Game Lab, a practice-research collective of academics within the School of Design and Informatics.
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Peer Review College.
My Undergraduate teaching portfolio encompasses on game art and design, game studies, and computer arts.
My current teaching role is within the Honours year modules for the BA programmes Computer Arts and Game Design and Production, teaching research methods to art, design, and production students.
I can supervise MbR, Mphil or PhD students who have interests in game design, game art, games and fan cultures, and computer arts practices.
Other Teaching Experience
I am an artist and game maker with interests in practice-based research using game engines, digital art packages, tabletop game design methods, and traditional media. My practice-based research tends to explore the aesthetics of games through the critical lenses of media archaeology, technological nostalgia, and the history of gaming cultures. I have particular interests in imbalance in games, frustration with game systems, and the use of retro graphics, audio, and game mechanics to critique contemporary politics and culture.
In addition to developing art and design research outputs, I am a game studies researcher with interests gaming nostalgia, game characters, game production studies, game accessibility and inclusive design, and applied games. I have published my research in journals such as Games and Culture and Gaming and Virtual Worlds, and conferences such as DiGRA, Foundations of Digital Games, and CHI Play. In 2015 I published the book Virtual Character Design for Games and Interactive Media with CRC Press.
Recent funded research projects include InGAME: Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise (AH/S002871/1), InGAME International (AH/T011491/1) and Living Histories of Sugar in Scotland and the West Indies: Transnationalisms, Performance and Co-creation (AH/S01148X/1) (all funded by AHRC).
You can keep up to date with my current research projects and publications by visiting my website: www.robinjss.co.uk
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-present
Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds (Intellect), 2017-
The Computer Games Journal (Springer), 2014-2020
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-