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Dr Ben Kirman

University of York

iGGi Training Coordinator


Available to supervise non-iGGi students for 2024 intake

Ben is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Prof) in Interactive Media at the University of York, who has over 20 years' experience as a creative technologist. Since his first programming job fixing Y2K bugs (you're welcome), he has worked with dozens of organisations, large and small, in design and prototyping playful experiences.

His research uses game design and playful design as a way to explore the complex effects of emerging technologies through novel and unexpected interactions and experiences. Most often, this is through the design and development of games, digital/physical prototypes, and design fictions. Ben has applied this in topics ranging from immersive theatre, dog technology, non-league football, radical cycle delivery, and time travelling robots, to educational games, esports, new situationism and magic. The unifying theme is play – as a topic of study, a way of working, for research insight, and as expression or output in games or playful experiences. This work, especially the more bizarre stuff, has often been covered by traditional media, including the BBC, New Scientist, Wired, The Guardian, TIME, Metro, the New York Times, and Your Cat magazine.

Ben is keen on supervising students with strong creative drives, with an interest in making, design, experimentation, and a broad perspective on games and play. This might be a project about playful props in immersive theatre, or a project about context in locative and site-specific games, or any other project that looks to explore new possibilities and new implications of emerging technology through the lens of play.

Research themes include:

  • Game Design

  • Applied Games

  • Computational Creativity

  • Sports with an E and without an E

  • Player Experience


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