- Cohort year: 2014
- CDT status: Alumni, passed viva in February 2019
- Research area: Measuring the experience of playing self-paced games
- Current role: Associate Lecturer in Interactive Media, University of York
Before starting his PhD Joe worked as a Media Developer for the Science Museum and then spent ten years running his own business, which created games and digital media for museums and galleries. He also provided consultancy and management for large and complex projects.
Joe’s PhD research explored the measurement of the experience of playing ‘self-paced’ games, which was a novel research area as most research in this field focused on fast-paced action games. There has been recent popular emergence of self-paced games such as Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga, which hold players’ attention without the need for fast reflexes or good co-ordination. XCOM and Civilization are also games that still manage to be very compelling even though they are self-paced, where the player sets the speed of the game.
Within his PhD, Joe also looked at the features which trigger and sustain players’ engagement in self-paced games, and he used eye tracking and memory tests to develop reliable ways of measuring how well a game holds the players attention. He used these measures to investigate how adding different features to a game, changes the attention span of the user.
Joe is now an Associate Lecturer in Interactive Media at the University of York, and he successfully passed his PhD viva in February 2019.