Hello, my name is Dr Ben Kirman and I’m a Senior Lecturer in Game Design within the Lincoln Social Computing Research Centre (LiSC) in the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln in the UK, where I do research and teach game design and game studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
My area of interest is in the application of game design in non-game contexts. This includes using games to teach, critique, challenge and provoke. I’m especially interested in how games can create exciting or challenging new experiences at the edge of expectations and good taste, based on playing with technological and cultural norms.
I do academic research, make, play and speak about fun, ridiculous and interesting stuff. This is usually games, but also includes toys and a wide range of unusual and unexpected applications.
My PhD was about understanding the quantitative relationship between game mechanics and social effects, from a ludological perspective. I regularly publish work at conferences and journals, and all this is made available for free here.
Before joining academia, I worked on a wide range of game design and development projects, including games for sexual health awareness for the Centre for Public Health, Augmented Reality (AR) devices for Astronomy education, Riot control simulations with the help of the Merseyside Police and a range of applications for eLearning and Computer Supported Collaborative Working. In collaboration with the BBC, I worked on educational games for BBC Jam; Social Television applications for the BBC On-demand TV service (later to become the BBC iPlayer), in addition to consulting for small enterprises in deprived areas of Merseyside within the EU Objective One programme.
I’m always very interested in collaborating on projects, both informally for fun, and formally for commercial or academic purposes. I’ve had significant experience working on funding proposals and projects funded by both European and UK sources.
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If you wish to send me brown envelopes filled with money, send them to Dr Ben Kirman, School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, UK LN6 7TS