Professor Robin Sloan

Professor in Game Design & Culture

School School of Design and Informatics

Department Division of Games and Arts

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8177

Biography

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.

 

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Undergraduate

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.

Postgraduate Research

I can supervise MbR, Mphil or PhD students who have interests in game design, game art, games and fan cultures, and computer arts practices.

Successful completions

  • PhD - 3
  • MbR - 3

Current supervision

  • PhD - 3

Other Teaching Experience

  • Guest lecturer, EUCROMA, Copenhagen, Denmark, January-February 2014
  • Guest lecturer, MIT Pune, Pune, Maharashtra, India, February 2012
  • Part-time lecturer in Animation, Dundee College, UK, 2010-2011 
  • Guest lecturer, Buskerud University College, Kongsberg, Norway, February 2009
  • Module tutor, Adam Smith College, Fife, UK, 2007-08

Interests

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

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More Information

Funding

Total funding secured to date: > £5.97m

  • InGAME International. 2020-2023. [PI]. AHRC, AH/T011491/1, £403k.
  • Food Gaming for Active aGeing. 2020-2021. [Co-I]. EU Commission / Erasmus+, 2019-1-FR01-KA204-062101, €175k.
  • Living Histories of Sugar in Scotland and the West Indies: Transnationalisms, Performance and Co-creation. 2020-2022. [Co-I]. AHRC, AH/S01148X/1, £36k. 
  • InGAME: Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise. 2018-2023. [Co-I]. AHRC, AH/S002871/1, £5.25m
  • Dundee and Me: How the City Shapes our Moods. 2017-2018. [Co-I]. ISSF University of Dundee / Wellcome Trust, £2k.
  • A Computer Game to Educate the Public About Cancer Progression. 2017-2018. [Co-I]. ISSF University of Dundee / Wellcome Trust, £5k.
  • Visualizing Sugaropolis: Interdisciplinary Recreations of Greenock’s Transnational Past. 2017-2018. [Co-I]. British Academy / Leverhulme, £8k.
  • Breaking the Chain. 2017. [Co-I]. European Commission, £48k.
  • Games and media facilitated e-learning. 2016-2018. [Co-I]. Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, £32k.
  • Process, Product and Play: Research in Support of the Exhibition of Videogames. 2016. [PI]. Association of Art Historians, £1k.
  • Play to Promote: Developing Innovative Games for the Communication and Promotion of Science. 2015. [PI]. Scottish Crucible/RSE, £4k.
  • Sugaropolis: Transnational Foodways and Dietary Change in Scotland. 2015. [Co-I]. Scottish Crucible/RSE, £4k.
  • Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning and Innovation in Games Art Education. 2011. [Co-I]. Higher Education Academy, £5k.

Esteem

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)

 

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Peer Review College Member
Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), 2017-present

Editorial Board
Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds (Intellect), 2017-
The Computer Games Journal (Springer), 2014-2020

Committee Member
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

Judging Panel
Independent Games Festival 2017, 2018
Games 4 Health 2017

Treasurer
Scottish Media and Communication Association (SMCA), 2013-

Outreach

Outreach

  • Public lecture - 'Random Access Memory: Nostalgia and Video Games', Cafe Arts, McManus Galleries, Dundee, February 5th 2019
  • Public lecture and event organiser - 'Game Making in Dundee', Gaming and Digital Weekend, Dundee Science Festival, Dundee Science Centre, November 12th 2016
  • Public event - Perth Tech Day, Perth Museum & Art Gallery, September 10th 2016
  • Researcher and Advisor - 'PLAYER: Videogame interaction from Atari to Toys to Life', Exhibition, Perth Museum & Art Gallery, June-September 2016
  • Event organiser - 'Serious Play workshop', University of Stirling, November 24th 2015
  • Guest speaker - 'Possible Worlds course', Bell Baxter High School, Fife (2013 to date)
  • Guest lecture and tutorials - Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune, India, February 2012
  • Public lecture - 'Emotional Avatars', Cafe Arts, McManus Galleries, Dundee, November 2nd 2010
  • Public lecture - FilmCamp, Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow, September 28th 2010
  • Exhibitor - Science in the City Event, Sensation Science Centre, Dundee, UK, January 31st and February 1st 2010
  • Exhibitor - Dundee Science Festival, DISC, Dundee, UK, October 25th 2009
  • Emotional Avatars Exhibition 2009, University of Abertay Dundee, October-December 2009
  • Exhibitor - Dare Protoplay, EICC, Edinburgh, August 14th-15th 2009
  • Emotional Avatars Exhibition 2008, University of Abertay Dundee, November-December 2008

Meet the rest of the team

Mr Martin Lynagh

Mr Martin Lynagh

Division of Games and Arts | Lecturer

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Dr Dayna Galloway

Dr Dayna Galloway

Division of Games and Arts | Head of Division

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