Hello, my name is Dr Ben Kirman and I’m a Lecturer in Interactive Media in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York in the UK, and member of the Digital Creativity Hub. I was formerly 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.

My area of interest is in the application of gameful, playful and critical design in non-game contexts. This includes using games and other playful interventions 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 my papers are 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.

Drop me a mail below:


I’m happy to chat about anything to do with games, play and entertainment computing, academic or otherwise. Just drop me a mail.
ben@kirman.org or ben.kirman@york.ac.uk

I’m also on Twitter

If you wish to send me brown envelopes filled with money, send them to Dr Ben Kirman, Dept Theatre, Film and Television, University of York, Baird Lane, York Y10 5GB