Personal profile

Research interests

M research interests are around design for unusual interactive experiences. I take a multidisciplinary approach and collaborate widely with scholars from computer science, psychology, human-computer interaction and the arts.

1. I'm interested in using fiction as a tool to explore potential design futures, using approaches like speculative design and design fiction. This involves the manufacture of fictional technologies and also, somewhat notoriously, the publication of fictional papers in real journals and conferences, including science fiction, punk guitar tabs and homoerotic romance.

2. I practice Critical Design for mobile platforms, building interactive apps and systems that take advantage of social aspects of specific environments to make provocative experiences and explore implicit values and ideology emergent in the design of interactive systems. For example, Blowtooth is a mobile game where players compete to smuggle contraband through airport security, and GetLostBot is a web app that tracks user movement and attempts to increase serendipity by challenging users to visit unusual places.

3. I'm also very interested in play as a mode of interaction with technology, drawing from the design of videogames, board games and sports, for participants and spectators alike. Most of my design work includes a strong playful aspect, and often uses game elements to explore social dynamics and create embarrassing or uncomfortable, yet fun, experiences.


My background is in creative technologies: before joining academia I worked designing and developing digital prototypes for a wide range of clients including the BBC, Philips, Telecom Italia, the NHS, Honda and many others in the digital media industries. These prototypes included games, interactive TV, rich web apps, mobile apps, and interactive art.

In 2006 I joined the EU FP6 PASION (Psychologically Augmented Social Interaction Over Networks) project to lead the game design and development thread, and from 2010 - 2015 worked as a Senior Lecturer in Game Design at the University of Lincoln, as Leader of the Computer Games Production programme. I joined the department of Theatre, Film and Television at York in January 2016 to teach on the BSc in Interactive Media, and research in association with the Digital Creativity Labs.

My PhD was in social aspects of game play, and identified links between patterns of social interaction and game mechanics. In addition I have a BSc (Hons) in Software Engineering, MSc in Computer Games Technology, and a PGCE in Higher Education Teaching & Learning.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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